Delft students present new hyperloop design
TU Delft students have designed a new prototype for a hyperloop. With their experimental work, they hope to bring this lightning-fast future mode of transport one step closer to reality. "A moment of pride and a milestone," the Delft Hyperloop student team said at the unveiling of their design. They presented the building plans to intimates on Monday evening and will put them online on Wednesday.
Hyperloops are a kind of pneumatic postal system for people or goods. Hyperloop travel takes place in a pod, a type of cart that travels at high speed through vacuumed tubes using magnets. If this form of transport becomes a reality, people may float from Amsterdam to Paris in half an hour. That is the dream of the 38 students collaborating on the hyperloop development.
Now that the design phase has been completed, the students will actually build their hyperloop system. "A person won't fit in it. Our pod will be a scale model of about two meters long and 80 centimeters wide," said Gijs Roodenburg, the spokesperson for the project. The students are building a test track of about 70 meters long in Hilversum. The prototype should be ready for use at the end of June.
What is special about the new design is that the pod "hangs" on the track. That is, the magnetic conduction occurs through the top and not from the bottom. Pod and track don't touch. "That hanging element is unique. It has never been done before by a student team," said Roodenburg. "It's essential to build on a real scale later." The new design makes changing tracks easier. Companies working on a hyperloop are also working on this.
Because hyperloop pods don't touch the track and aren't hindered by air resistance, they should be able to reach a speed of about 1,000 kilometers per hour. This makes them just as fast as commercial aircraft but much cleaner and more energy-efficient. Aircraft burn kerosene and therefore emit a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2). Hyperloops run on electricity and are potentially very energy efficient.
Delft Hyperloop believes that the new technology can help to reduce the transport sector's CO2 footprint significantly. "By 2030, the hyperloop should replace a large part of freight traffic, and by 2040 a large part of short-haul flights could be replaced by the hyperloop," the team said.
Reporting by ANP