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Hyperloop- A 21st century transportation revolution
-A 21st century
Mechanical Engg. , IIT(BHU)
The current practical mode of transport between two places are:
1. Road (inexpensive, slow, usually not environmentally
2. Air (expensive, fast, not environmentally sound)
3. Rail (expensive, slow, often environmentally sound)
Avoids the negative effects of each mode of transport. It is:
1. Ready when the passenger is ready to travel (road)
2. Inexpensive (road)
3. Fast (air)
4. Environmentally sound (rail/road via electric cars)
Hyperloop consists of low pressure tubes with capsules that are transported at low and
high speed throughout the length of the tube.
The idea of transporting through pneumatic tube is 200 years old.
In 1812, British mechanical Eng. George Medhurst first proposed blowing passengers
carriages through tubes but never implemented.
Currently the reformed and innovated version of that idea of transportation is proposed
by entrepreneur Elon Musk - CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX in the form of
What is Hyperloop?
Concorde Air Hockey Rail Gun
Hyperloop Transportation system
Consists of several components which can be classified into-
Position of several components in proposed geometry
Axial compressor is used.
It avoids the Kantrowitz limit.
Air is compressed with pressure ratio of 20:1.
Some air is stored for air bearing.
An onboard water tank is used for the cooling of the air.
Figure:- Streamline for
capsule travelling at high
subsonic velocities inside
Figure- Schematic of air bearing ski that support the capsule
1. Thrust bearing offers stability and extremely lo drag.
2. Compressor pressurized air and aerodynamic lift provide better lift to
3. Independent mechanical suspension are provide for smooth ride of
Hyperloop capsule specifications:-
Hyperloop passenger +
Overall structure weight 3100kg 3500kg
Overall cost of structure $245,000 $275,000
Overall interior weight 2500kg 2700kg
Overall cost of interior
Maximum width 1.35m 1.35m
Maximum height 1.10m 1.10m
Frontal area 1.5 sq. m 4.0 sq. m
requirement at 700mph
Around 100kW Around 382kW
+ vehicle capsule
Air bearing system weight 2800kg 3800kg
Overall cost of bearing
Total drag generated by 28
bearings at capsule speed
Power loss due to drag 48kW 63kW
Length 1.5m 1.5m
Width 0.9m 1.2m
Flow rate required beneath
0.2kg/sec at 9.4kPa 0.2kg/s at 11.2kPa
Are made of the steel.
The pressure inside it will be 100Pa( equivalent to flying above
150,000 feet altitude)
Pylons are placed every 30m apart to support the tube.
+ vehicle version
Inner diameter of the
Tube cross sectional
Capsule/tube area ratio 0.36 0.47
Possible wideness of
Expected max. solar
Uses a linear induction motor to accelerate and decelerate the capsule
Benefits over permanent magnet motor-
1. Lower material cost
2. Lighter capsule
3. Smaller capsule dimensions
Made of Al
Figure:- Rotor and stator 3D diagram
Lateral force exerted by the stator on the rotor- 13N
Each accelerator has two 70 MWA inverters: one to accelerate the outgoing
capsule and one to capture the energy from the incoming capsule
Semiconductor switches allow inverters to energize only section of
track occupied by capsule
Gap between rotor and stator is 20mm on each side.
A combination of capsule control system and electromagnetic center forces
allows the capsule to safely enter, stay within and exit such a precise gap.
Stator is mounted to bottom od the tube.
Two halves of stator require bracing to resist magnetic force of 300N/m that
try to bring them together
Total cost of both types of Hyperloop transportation versions:-
Cost is calculated for the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco which are
Figure:- Energy cost per
passenger for a journey
between Los Angeles and
San Francisco for various
modes of transport.
Energy cost comparison between various modes of
Prototype of this system is in its developing state.
The first test of prototype had been performed at Nevada in USA on
It was open air test that is without tubes.
The length of the track was 0.5mile.
Maximum speed of prototype was only 116mph.
Prototype achieved its max. speed in 2sec.
Prototype is expected to be completed at the end of year 2016.
Working model of it is expected to be prepared till 2020.
Immune to weather
Sustainably self powering
Resistance to earthquake
Not disruptive to those along the route
Expected problems: -
No space for washroom in current design
Involves a lot of risk of money
Might be frightening experience to travel by it
Can not enjoy nature’s view
Fast acceleration and noisy vibration