Hyperloop technology has been in mainstream headlines ever since Elon_Musk announced its construction. Today, we are going to discuss in detail about all the aspect of a hyperloop.
The working of hyperloop, its pros and cons, technical details, will be explained in each of the following sections.
Let’s start from the definition.
What is Hyperloop technology?
Hyperloop technology is a new method of ground transport currently being built by a number of businesses. It will see passengers moving in floating pods at over 700 miles an hour, speeding either above or below ground along inside massive low-pressure tubes.
The next question is why is it a buzz word.
What makes Hyperloop different?
- Between Hyperloop and conventional rail, there are two major differences. Firstly, to minimise friction, the pods carrying passengers fly through tubes or tunnels from which much of the air has been extracted.
- This should allow up to 750 miles per hour for the pods to fly.
- Secondly, the pods are designed to float on air skis rather than using wheels like a train or vehicle, using the same basic concept as an air hockey table, or using magnetic levitation to minimise friction.
Next, let me show you the benefits.
What are the benefits of Hyperloop technology?
- Hyperloop may be cheaper and quicker than train or car travel, and cheaper and less polluting than air travel, proponents claim.
- They say that construction is both faster and cheaper than conventional high-speed rail.
- Therefore, Hyperloop may be used to take the burden off gridlocked highways, making it easier to fly between cities and, as a result, potentially unlocking major economic benefits.
Time to look at the working of the hyperloop tube.
How does a Hyperloop tube work?
- As envisioned by Musk, the basic concept of Hyperloop is that the passenger pods or capsules fly through a tunnel, either above or below ground.
- Much, but not all of the air is extracted from the tubes by pumps to minimise friction.
- One of the greatest uses of energy in high speed transport is to conquer air resistance.
- To travel through less dense air, airliners ascend to high altitudes; Hyperloop encloses the capsules in a reduced-pressure tube to produce a similar effect at ground level, essentially allowing the trains to travel at aeroplane speeds while still on the ground.
- The pressure of the air inside the Hyperloop tube in Musk’s model is around one-sixth of the atmospheric pressure on Mars (a noteworthy contrast as Mars is another of Musk’s interests).
- This would mean an operating pressure of 100 pascals, which would decrease the drag force of the air by 1,000 times compared to the conditions at sea level and would be equal to flying above 150,000 feet.
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Next, we will see the working of hyperloop capsules.
How do Hyperloop capsules work?
- In Musk’s model, the Hyperloop capsules float above the surface of the tube on a set of 28 air-bearing skis, close to the way the puck floats just above the table in an air hockey game.
- One major difference is that the air cushion is created by the pod, not the track, in order to keep the tube as easy and cheap as possible.
- In order to hold the passenger pods above the tracks, most Hyperloop models use magnetic levitation rather than air skis.
- From an external linear electric motor, the pod would get its initial velocity, which would accelerate it to ‘high subsonic velocity’ and then give it a boost every 70 miles or so; in between, the pod would coast along in close vacuum.
- Each capsule could hold 28 passengers plus some luggage (other variants are designed to carry up to 40 passengers); another variant of the capsule could carry freight and vehicles. Pods quit every two minutes (or every 30 seconds at peak usage).
We will move on to the benefits of hyperloop to society.
The potential benefits to society
- Study figures show that by using a hyperloop or 83 minutes by national rail, the journey from London to Birmingham will take nine minutes-a cumulative saving of 74 minutes.
- Other distances include 22 minutes to Newcastle from London (saving 149 minutes), 29 minutes to Edinburgh from London (saving 231 minutes) and just 31 minutes to Glasgow from London (saving 238 minutes).
- Shorter trips to the capital would open up opportunities for employment and have a beneficial effect on tourism and sustainability.
- Entry to education will also be increased by Hyperloop.
- Choosing one that is right for you but is not too far from home is a challenge that many faces when choosing their prospective university, with universities spread across the world.
- However, there is no longer a limit to choosing universities close to home with city-to-city connections via hyperloop, which dramatically reduces travel time.
- Aside from cutting travel time, hyperloop would help to solve the housing crisis.
- Because of financial uncertainty, the cost of living in locations like London and San Francisco is driving the poorest people out.
- Therefore, people would be more likely to live outside of the city by making travelling to locations across the world cheaper.
- Travelling cheaply from Edinburgh to London, for example, will encourage more people to live in Edinburgh, which has a considerably lower cost of living than London and a large stock of available homes.
- Similarly, houses in Los Angeles are about 66% cheaper than in San Francisco, with just 30 minutes of travel time between the two.
- The Hyperloop is not only intended for the transport of passengers, but also for the transport of goods.
- This would increase delivery time, prevent package damage and reduce the number of delivery vehicles, resulting in lower emissions.
- So what’s driving this new big form of transportation? The easy answer to that is electricity and solar power.
- From an external linear electric motor, the pods would get their speed, and the tube would have solar panels mounted on top that would produce more electricity.
- Therefore, to power the hyperloop to its peak speeds, only a small amount of electricity is required, making this one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport alongside the electric car.
That’s it about hyperloop technology. Do you think it’s going to revolutionise the transportation sector? Let me know your doubts in comments.