Hyperloop working principle

Hyperloop is a trending word in the transportation industry. The Hyperloop is basically a proposed mode of transport for passengers and freight. The speed in this technology is the key factor driving more attention to this technology world over. This transportation technology work at the speed of 1200km/h which equates to the speed of the aircraft. Here we will explain what is Hyperloop and how does it work?

Hyperloop Pod
Hyperloop Pod

The Tesla and Space X first mentioned this concept in the open source vactrain design. Hyperloop is a system of tubes or a single tube where pods will travel without friction or air resistance with the highest efficiency. Elon Musk and Space X kept the concept open source. This makes it more accessible to everyone; helping future developments.

To achieve frictionless travel, the pods will move in a tube with a partial vacuum. The pods are pressurized and float on the air bearings driven by the axial compressors and linear induction motors. This system achieves the frictionless movement due to the partial vacuum in the tube. The partial vacuum reduces the air resistance; enabling speeds up to 1200kms.

How does the Hyperloop work?

First of all, the traditional railway network operates at very less speed. The main reason behind the less speed is the friction and air resistance. Although some trains in Japan are now capable to achieve the speed of 500km/h; thanks to the aerodynamic design. Still, these train networks can’t achieve very high speeds.

Hyperloop technology addresses the problem of air resistance and friction. The Hyperloop sends the capsules using magnetic levitation thru’ the tubes having a partial vacuum.  In steel tubes, the partial vacuum reduces the air resistance drastically. The magnetic levitation is a technology very similar to a maglev train currently we have.

Hyperloop tunnel
Hyperloopone tunnel

The passive maglev is nothing but a train transportation system that uses two sets of the magnets. One set of magnet pushes the pod up as in levitation. The other set of magnet pushes the floating pod forward at great speed due to lack of air resistance.

Furthermore, the linear induction motors along the tube help to accelerate and deaccelerate the pods. Hence, the pods simply glide on the track with high speeds. The inlet fan and axial air compressor at the front actively transfer the air pressure at the front to the back of the pod. So, it avoids the air pressure building up at the front of the pod.

Hyperloop tunnel From Inside
Hyperloopone tunnel From Inside

In addition, the cost of maglev is very high. Besides, maintaining a complete vacuum over long pipes is simply impossible to achieve. So, this transportation technology works at the 1 millibar (100 Pa) of pressure.

Hyperloop routes

Hyperloop is a new transportation technology although it is currently under development. Many countries are having interest in this technology as it solves the current problem of mass transportation. In the USA, the various Hyperloop companies announced plans for various routes.  Here are some of the routes Aurora, Colorado to Denver International Airport, Chicago to Clevland and Washington to New York City.

In India, different states have signed an agreement with Hyperloop Transportation Technology to build Hyperloop between Bengaluru to Chennai, Mumbai to Pune and Amaravathi to Vijayawada. The Indore, India based DGWHyperloop is proposing a route from Mumbai to Delhi via Indore, Kota, and Jaipur.

Furthermore, Many other countries including Dubai, China, and the UK are also considering various routes for this transportation technology. Considering the scale of implementation, various Governments are very positive about this technology.

The opensource nature and new hyperloop companies

Besides, the open source nature of the project leads to an increase in research scale of the project. Various new companies are doing groundwork around the world. Few organizations also established a  research lab for this transportation technology.

Furthermore, in the United States of America, Boeing, Virgin Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technology, Arrivo, and Hyper Chariot are working on this technology. Besides, Zeleros from Spain, Hardt Global Mobility from Netherland, DGWHyperloop from India and TransPod from Canada are working on the project.

Safety and Hyperloop

This transportation technology consists of the high-speed movement of passengers. Hence, various researchers are concerned about safety. Such type of networks may be prone to terrorist attacks which lead to criticism.

In addition, a slight deviation in straight lines at such a high speed can lead to serious consequences. The safety measures for accidents, loss of power, emergency evacuation and equipment malfunction can still occur in such type of transportation network.

In conclusion, this transportation technology has immense potential and we are very sure the researchers will find a way for safe rides. Welcome to the transportation of the future..!

Image and video courtesy: Hyperloop one

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