By Kia Popat
Hyperloop One is an American company with the aim to manage the Hyperloop train system, that will be able to move both passengers and cargo at the same speed as an airplane, but at a fraction of the cost. The concept of Hyperloop transportation was introduced by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, back in 2013, and is the first major form of new transport to be created in 100 years. This is because the growing economy requires a fast, direct, emission-free, and energy efficient form of transport as an alternative to air travel, with a smaller footprint. The first Hyperloop trains are set to be ready and operational by 2021.
The top speed for a passenger vehicle is estimated to be 1080 kilometres per hour, which is 2-3 times faster than a high-speed vehicle. They are powered using an electric motor, which, instead of being a conventional circular one, is straightened-out to make a linear motor. A motor has two primary parts. These are the stator, which is an electromagnet that stays still, and the rotor that moves. When a voltage is applied to the stator, the electromagnet is switched on. Because it is a linear electric motor, the rotor moves along the length of the stator instead of rotating. The stators are mounted to the tube, with the rotor mounted on the pod, so the pod is propelled magnetically as it moves over the stators, proceeding to accelerate down the tube. Magnetic levitation will be used to guide and lift the pod off the track. All the air inside the tube is removed by vacuum pumps, therefore reducing the drag, and decreasing the amount of energy required. Therefore, the Hyperloop One is essentially one swift motion through a steel tube which it does not touch, and not even making a ‘whoosh’ noise, due to the high-speed. The trains are also designed to be very safe, entirely autonomous, and will continue working in order to maintain the safety of the passengers even if the tube is breached. The tubes can handle 100 Pa of pressure (200,000 ft above sea level) or more.
The transport system would integrate seamlessly into any transport systems already being used and can draw power from any energy source. So, if the energy source does not create any carbon emissions, the Hyperloop One would not create any carbon emissions. The Hyperloop One trains are also very energy efficient, as they only require energy for a small portion of the journey.