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Hyperloop Transportation System
VI Sem. Mechanical Engg.
Hyperloop is a conceptual transportation system designed to lower cost and travel
time relative to current high speed rail system. E.g. Bullet train and TGV
Elon Musk and the team of engineers from Tesla motors and the Space X
proposed the idea in August 2013
This concept deviates from the existing high speed rail designs by eliminating the
rails ,enclosing the passenger pod in a tube under the partial vacuum and
suspending the pod on air bearings.
Propulsion is handled by a set of linear electromagnetic accelerators mounted to
Existing conventional modes of transportation of people consists of four unique types : rail, road,
Water , and air. These modes of transport tend to be either relatively slow and expensive.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transport that seeks to change this trend by being both fast and
Inexpensive for people and goods
This new transportation system should be
• Immune to weather
• Self powered
• Resistant to earthquakes
• Less hindrance to existing infrastructure
Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high
speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air, featuring
pressurized air and aerodynamic lift. The capsules are accelerated via magnetic linear accelerator
affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube with rotors contained in each capsule. Passengers
may enter and exit Hyperloop at stations located either at the ends of the tube, or branches along
the tube length
Basic components of Hyperloop
CAPSULE / POD
3. On-board power
ENERGY STORAGE COMPONENTS
1. Battery array of lithium ion cells
2. Tube constructions
3. Station constructions
4. Pylons and Tunnels
The capsule in a Hyperloop is an enclosed component in a reduced pressure tube
• Operating pressure around the capsule is 100 pascals, such that it reduces the drag
force of the air by 1000 times relative to sea level conditions
• A hard vacuum is avoided as vacuums are expensive and difficult to maintain
compared with low pressure solutions
• Capsule can travel at maximum speed of 760mph (1220 kmph at 20°C)
• Tube air is compressed with a compression ratio of 20:1 via an axial compressor
• 60% of air is bypassed
a. The air travels via a narrow tube near bottom of the capsule to the tail
b. A nozzle at the tail expands the flow generating thrust to mitigate some
of the small amounts of aerodynamic and bearing drag
• Up to 0.2 kg/s of air is cooled and compressed
a. This air is stored in on-board composite over wrap pressure vessels
b. The stored air is eventually consumed by air bearings to maintain distance
between the capsule and tube walls
• The compressor is powered by 436hp on board electric motor
a. An estimated 1500kg of batteries provide 45 minutes of on-board compressor
b. Batteries are changed at each stop and charged at the stations
Externally pressurised and aerodynamic air bearings are well suited for the
Hyperloop due to exceptionally high stiffness, which is required to maintain stability
at high speeds. When the gap height between sky and the tube wall is reduced the
flow field in the gap exhibits a highly non linear reaction resulting in large restoring
The increased pressures pushes the sky away from the world allowing to return to
its nominal ride height. While a stiff air bearing suspension is superb for reliability
and safety, it could create considerable discomfort for passengers on board. To
account for this, each ski is integrated into an
Independent mechanical suspension
The passenger capsule power system includes an estimated 2500 kg of batteries to
power the capsule systems in addition to the compressor motor and coolant
In order to propel the vehicle at the required travel speed an advanced linear
motor system is developed to accelerate the capsule above 1220 kmph at a
maximum of 1G comfort. The moving motor element (rotor) will be located on the
vehicle for weight savings and power requirements
while the tube will incorporate the stationary motor element (stator) which powers
• It is specifically designed with passenger safety and comfort in mind
• The seats conform well to the body to maintain comfort during high speed accelerations
• Overall interior weight is to be near (2500 kg) including the seats, restraint systems
door panels, luggage compartments, and entertainment displays
• Overall cost of the interior components is targeted not more than 255,000$
• Hyperloop route consists of a partially evacuated cylindrical tube that connects stations in
a closed loop system
• Tube is specifically sized for optimal air flow around the capsule improving performance and
energy consumption at the expected travel speed
• Pressure will be maintained around 100Pa. This low pressure minimizes the drag force on the
capsule while maintaining the relative ease of pumping the air out of the tube
• To minimize the cost the Hyperloop tube will be elevated on pillars which reduces the footprint
required on the ground and construction area required
• Tube geometry is dependent on the speed of air
If the speed of air passing through the gaps accelerates to supersonic velocities, then
shock waves form. These waves limit the air flow and builds up a column of air in front
of the nose and increasing the drag
With these increased drag and additional mass of air to push, power requirements
• Avoid shock wave formation by careful selection of capsule/tube area ratio
• In a precise manner
a) Inner diameter of tube optimized to be 2.23m
b)Tube cross sectional area is 3.91m² giving a capsule/tube area ratio of 36% or
diameter ratio of 60%
c) The surface above the tube will be lined with solar panels which provides
the required system energy
• Material for inner diameter tube is of a uniform thickness steel tube reinforced with stringers
• Tube sections are prefabricated and installed between pillar supports spaced 30m on average
• Steel construction allows simple welding processes to join tube sections together
• For safety and emergency exits and pressurization ports will be added in key locations along the tube
• Tube wall thickness between (20 to 23mm) is necessary to provide sufficient strength for the load
b)Bending and Buckling between pillars
c)Loading due to capsule weight and accelerations
d) Seismic considerations i.e. Earthquakes
• The tube will be supported by pillars which constrain the tube in the vertical direction
but allow longitudinal slip for thermal expansions as well as dampened lateral slip
to reduce the risk posed by earthquakes
• The pillar to tube connection nominal position will be adjustable vertically and laterally
to ensure proper alignment and also a smoother ride
• Average spacing of the Hyperloop pillars 30m and average height of the pillars is 6m
but may vary in height in hilly areas or where obstacles are in the way.
• Small spacing between each support reduces the deflection of the tube keeping the
capsules steadier and the journey more enjoyable.
• In some short areas, tunnelling may be required to avoid going over mountains and to
keep the route as straight as possible.
Energy storage allows this linear accelerator to only draw its average power of 8000 HP from its
The energy storage element made of lithium ion cells available can be economical. A battery array
With enough power capability to provide the worst- case smoothing power has a lot of energy
launching 1 capsule only uses 0.5 % of the total energy so degradation due to cycling is not an issue.
A Li ion battery
Design of Hyperloop has been considered from start with safety in mind. Hyperloop is a single system
That incorporates the vehicle , propulsion system , energy management, timing, and route.
Capsules travel in a carefully controlled and maintained tube environment making the system is immune
to wind, ice, fog, and rain. The propulsion system is integrated into the tube and can only accelerate the
capsule to speeds that are safe in each section. With human control error and unpredictable weather
Removed from the system, very few safety concerns remain.
All capsules would have direct radio contact with station operators in case of emergencies, allowing
Passengers to report any incident, to request help and to receive assistance. In addition , all capsules
would be fitted with first aid equipment.
The vast majority of the Hyperloop travel distance is spent coasting and so the capsule does not require
continuous power to travel. The capsule life support systems will be powered by two or more redundant
lithium ion battery packs making it unaffected by a power outage. In the event of a power outage occurring
after a capsule had been launched, all linear accelerators would be equipped with enough energy storage
to bring all capsules currently in the Hyperloop tube safely to a stop at their destination .
Hyperloop capsules will be designed to the highest safety standards and manufactured with extensive
quality checks to ensure their integrity. In the event of a minor leak, the on board environment control system
would maintain capsule pressure using the reserve air carried on board for the short period of time it will
take to reach the destination . In the case of a more significant depressurization , oxygen masks would be
deployed as in airplanes.
World is no stranger to earthquakes and transport systems are all built with earthquakes in mind. Hyperloop
would be no different with the entire tube length built the necessary flexibility to withstand the earthquake
motions while maintaining the Hyperloop tube alignment. In case of sudden stop emergency mechanical
braking system would be actuated
The future challenges of Hyperloop consists of :
More expansion on the control mechanism for Hyperloop
Detailed station designs with loading and unloading of
Trades comparing the costs and benefits of Hyperloop with
more conventional magnetic levitation systems.
Sub scale testing based on a further optimized design to
demonstrate the physics of Hyperloop.
The Hyperloop transportation system and transport passenger as well as vehicles, it is less expensive,
safer faster , more convenient . The most advantages thing of this system is it doesn’t disrupts the current
infrastructure which is built along its route.
As each and every invention has its limitation , well the same applies with this system which can be
minimized with effective use. This concept is efficient for long distances with minimum stoppages, it
requires less turns for optimum accelerations.
It requires efficient implementation of aerodynamics to reduce air drag.