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Advantages of Hyperloop Technology | Disadvantages of Hyperloop Technology

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Hyperloop Technology. It mentions Hyperloop Technology advantages or benefits and Hyperloop Technology disadvantages or challenges. It also explains basics of hyperloop technology and how it works.

What is Hyperloop technology?

Hyperloop is a fifth mode of transportation. It is intended for superfast travel between large cities. Initially Elon Musk has published the concept in the year 2012. Joint team of Tesla and SpaceX are working to develop hyperloop technology based transportation system.

Hyperloop technology

The figure-1 depicts hyperloop technology based transportation system. As shown stators (in the tunnel) and rotors (on a passenger capsule car) form magnetic fields. This is used for dispersal of train (i.e. capsule) in a tunnel made of steel. It is based on vactrain concept which employs magnetically levitating trains in the form of capsules in the evacuated (airless) or partly evacuated tubes. This allows speeds of thousands of miles per hour.

There are two versions of hyperloop capsules and tube viz. passenger only version and passenger plus vehicle version.

How Hyperloop technology works?

Hyperloop passenger capsule subsystem

The hyperloop system consists of two main parts tube consisting of tracks and capsules carrying passengers. The figure-2 depicts internal subsystems of hyperloop capsule. As shown, capsule consists of air compressor on front, passenger compartment in middle and battery compartment at back.

Let us understand how hyperloop technology works. Though tube tracks are designed to have vacuum inside, they are not free of air completely and will have low pressure air inside the capsule. This results into compression of air and consecutively creates cushion of air which slows the speed of the object.

This problem is being overcome in the hyperloop technology as it uses compressor fan at the front of capsule. This compressor fan can re-direct air to the back of the capsule to provide additional propulsion. This redirected air will be sent to the air bearings which levitate the metal capsules above surface of tube in order to reduce friction. This results into achievement very high speed of capsules in the tube. This is how the hyperloop technology works.

Solar panels are used to fulfill power requirements of the hyperloop technology based train system. The tube track is designed to be immuned against bad weather and natural disasters such as earthquakes. It takes only 30 minutes to cover the distance of about 550 Km which is much quicker compare to modern airliner or flight. As shown there is capacity of about 28 passengers per capsule (2 rows with 14 in single row). Approximately capsules are departed at every 2 minutes, which is average departure time of capsules.

Benefits or advantages of Hyperloop Technology

Following are the advantages of Hyperloop Technology:
➨The technology offers very fast speed of transportation which is twice that of aircraft.
➨It has very low power consumption.
➨It is low cost transportation system on long run.
➨It is immune to bad weather conditions.
➨It is resistant to earthquakes.
➨It is safe mode of transportation system.

Challenges or disadvantages of Hyperloop Technology

Following are the disadvantages of Hyperloop Technology:
➨High speed of capsule (almost at speed of sound) may cause dizziness to the passengers travelling due to vibration and jostling.
➨Initial cost of investment to have the system in place is very high. The long vacuum chamber manufacturing requires more technical skills. Moreover this is costly and also risky to maintain.
➨Land use rights will be concern for deployment of the project.
➨It has very high risk to life when something wrong happens to the system.
➨It has limited space in the train and hence people can not move freely.
➨As hyperloop uses steel for track, it expands and changes shape when outside temperature is changed. This may destroy the track of hyperloop technology. This needs to be considered while designing the system based on environment of the location where it is being deployed.
➨The installation requires cutting of large number of trees. This leads to environment loss.

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