The development of environmentally friendly transport along with the search for ways to save time on the transportation of people or goods has long been a trend of the present. One of the incarnations of such ideas is the Hyperloop project – the concept of Elon Musk, the fifth type of transport after a train, plane, car and ship. The idea to create Hyperloop, as Musk says, came to him when he stuck in a long traffic jam. According to him, this is something between the Concorde, the railgun and the air hockey table. Hyperloop is conceived as an above-ground pipeline located on supports, within which single transport capsules-25-30 m long in one direction move at intervals of 30 seconds at a speed of 480 to 1,120 km / h (depending on the terrain).
What plans for the idea implementation are offered by engineers?
Some engineers propose to equip the Hyperloop with powerful propellers, which will push the capsules like a pneumatic post. Musk notes that although such giant propellers can be done, it is impractical, because at a 563-kilometer stretch with such rapid movement in the air column, the resistance inside the pipe will be colossal and it will be impossible to reach the desired speed.
Also, vacuum tubes with an electromagnetic suspension, like the one used in the motion of the maglev, are excluded. The fact is that it will be too difficult to create an ideal vacuum in pipes, especially if thousands of beans enter and leave them daily. Moreover, aluminum pipes can crack or leak, and therefore depressurize.
Another technical problem is that the bean moves through the pipe with air. Musk says that if the walls of the pipe and the bean are sufficiently close, “the capsule will behave like a syringe”. In other words, the bean will push the entire air column in the system, rather than skip it. As a result, the bean will move very slowly or the engineers will have to build a massive pipe.
“Beans” in a vacuum
Musk, an ingenious innovator, attracted a team of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX to find a solution. The Musk team decided that the air pressure inside the system should be six times less than the pressure of the fine atmosphere of Mars, which would greatly reduce the resistance of the accelerating capsules. In addition, placing Hyperloop along the interstate highway I-5 in the US will reduce costs, as it will not be necessary to buy land from people living along the route.
They made the heart of the system into a bean, so that the pipe was the least technologically advanced. The plan is to design a capsule with metal skis that roll, or levitate, on a cushion of air pumped through small holes in the skis. The concept is similar to the game of air hockey, except that the air accumulates due to high-speed movement of the capsule through the pipe, and the super-power electric compresses in the front of the bean pumped air into the rear. Magnets on skis paired with an electromagnetic pulse give the bean the first impetus familiar to you on trains. After that, the sensation of speed will disappear.
Linear induction motors that receive energy from magnets and conductors will be placed at different points along the tube and ensure the capsule stable movement. Emergency outlets will also be established along the pipe. The pipes themselves will also have solar panels.
On tests of experimental high-speed transport system Hyperloop they managed to get speed up to 355 km / h. Enthusiasts of the system claim that the time is not far off when it will be able to reach speeds of up to 1000 km / h.
Criticism of the project
Critics could not pass the next Elon Musk’s project. Many scientists agree that the idea is quite feasible, but there are a number of flaws. The company Ansys said that it would be better to make the capsule more streamlined, to come up with a method to combat the excessive heating of the capsule, and also to stop the rotation of the capsule around the axis. And NASA Glenn Research Center experts, modeled the Hyperloop train, came to the conclusion that it would be nice to also increase the pipe diameter by half.
The international cooperation
In addition to the United States, dozens of countries have become interested in the Hyperloop project, including China, India, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. It is known that a large Russian investor, whose name is kept in secret, is ready to invest in the creation of supersonic trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced that it has signed an agreement with the Slovakian government on the future construction of an ultrasonic transport system that will connect Bratislava with Vienna and Budapest.
In cooperation with Slovak partners from the company “c2i”, a composite material based on carbon fiber was created, which will be covered from inside and outside by transport capsules. This material is serviced by sensors that monitor stability, temperature and integrity. These sensors are designed to provide permanent information to the control center, so if the capsule receives any damage, it will immediately be taken out of service upon arrival at the dock. The company claims that the new material is 10 times stronger than steel, and weighs five times less than aluminum.
The startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has also concluded an agreement with the South Korean authorities to create a system of high-speed vacuum trains. The beginning of construction is planned for the next year, and the country has a chance to become the first owner of a futuristic transport network not only in Asia, but throughout the world.
Beginning of dream realization
In September, the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin hosted a presentation of the Transpod project: a ten-ton capsule with a length of 25 meters, capable of transporting passengers weighing 10 tons or a cargo of the same mass. In the nose of the capsule, as, indeed, was originally conceived by Musk, a compressor is located, which redirects the counterflow of air under the bottom, thus providing a minimum resistance.
Combine business with pleasure
Even a short period of time, which will occupy a trip on a high-speed train, should be used with maximum benefit. It is this opinion, judging by the presentation, is held in the Transpod. Business conference, a romantic dinner and a meeting of friends – such events, according to Hendron, can be held in capsules Hyperloop while driving.
Hyperloop will change the world for the better
The Hyperloop train can become a revolutionary discovery for humanity: it would reduce the cost of transportation, make travel safer and save such precious time. The cost of the trip in the hypertension will be lower than the ticket for the plane, because there are no such large expenses for infrastructure as in the case of airports, the operation of the road itself is also inexpensive. Also, labor and real estate markets may change, because you can live 200 kilometers from the city and get to work 10 minutes faster than local residents who need at least an hour. Thanks to the ideas and projects of the Mask, in the next decade a coup in passenger and freight traffic could take place.