University students all set to break Hyperloop speed record
A team from Delft University in the Netherlands aims to set a new world speed record for Hyperloop transport on 22nd July.
The team is competing in the third instalment of the Space X Hyperloop Pod Competition, and believes it will break the current speed record of 238mph.
Twenty teams are taking part in the contest, which will be held at the Space X facility in the US. Delft University won the first phase of the competition in 2017, which was to design and build a prototype Hyperloop pod for feasibility testing.
The new third phase of the completion is focused purely on speed. The Delft University team says that its design, which combines a lightweight pod with a separate launcher, will be a winning combination.
“The parts of the Delft Hyperloop vehicle are fully optimized. It's all about the power-to-weight ratio,” said Delft Hyperloop team leader, Edouard Schneiders. “We have literally fought for every ounce.”
The vehicle’s energy source consists of LiPo batteries, with a high power-to-weight ratio, protected by an airtight battery pack. The secret of the propulsion is a wheel, which is clamped onto the Hyperloop track to generate the maximum possible grip, making it more efficient for high speeds at short distances. The pneumatic brakes are equipped with a fail-safe system.
Delft University will also be showing its prototype passenger pod at the competition. The scale model shows the pod, which the team envisages will carry six or more passengers in its final form.
The passenger module can be placed on top of the launcher to carry passengers and cargo at high speeds. The Delft Hyperloop team has already tested the components of the Hyperloop on a course in The Netherlands, in order to avoid any surprises at SpaceX during the competition.
The system has also undergone software simulation using solutions from Cognizant, the team’s software sponsor.
“Traveling with a functional Hyperloop will be as expensive as flying for passengers, but a Hyperloop will consume four times less energy than air traffic and is faster in many cases,” added Schneiders.
“Hyper-tunnels will not only be used for transport in the future, but also for the storage of rainwater and the installation of data and electricity cables.”
The system is also envisaged to be used for the transport of cargo, providing what logistics experts have said will be air freight transit times at the cost of conventional rail.