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Elon Musk details Hyperloop transit system

You may not immediately know the name Elon Musk, but he is the man behind SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Paypal. He is currently working on a futuristic style transit system, called Hyperloop.

To this date very little has been detailed about the system, except that it would serve as a much faster, more efficient alternative to traditional passenger rail transport. If the system was built it would allow passengers to travel 350 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in around 30 minutes.

HyperLoop was initial envisaged as a vacuum tube style system with electromagnetically suspended capsules, which could be ‘sucked’ along.

Musk announced that this would have problems however as the air column inside the tube would build up in front of each capsule as it travelled through the tube. His solution was to put an electric compressor fan on the nose of each capsule and draw the air through it.

This way would mean that the capsules could be suspended as the drawn in air could be expelled through vents in the bottom of the capsules, creating a low friction cushion while it travelled at speeds up to 700mph.

Gizmag add “An onboard battery would reportedly be sufficient to run the fan for the whole LA to SF trip, but something else would be required to provide propulsion. For that, Musk is suggesting an external linear electric motor, built into the inside of the tube. In his words, it’s “simply a round induction motor (like the one in the Tesla Model S) rolled flat.” In the near-frictionless tube, a series of these motors placed about one every 70 miles (113 km) should provide enough of a continuous boost to keep the capsules moving at sub-sonic speeds. All told, the sections of the tube containing the motors should make up less than one percent of its total length.The motors would be powered by photovoltaic panels mounted on top of the tube, which Musk claims could generate “far in excess of the energy needed to operate.”

So far, the price tag seems very high, the capsules and motors will cost several hundred million dollars and the tube price will be around several billion.

You can read more on this over here at the TeslaMotors website.

Kitguru says: Seems a long time before a system like this would make a global impact

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