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                          How Cheshire Innovation inventions could answer
                          some of the doubts raised by critics of Hyperloop


On this page we will provide answers to to the following criticisms of Hyperloop:

  • Preventing the passenger pods from overheating will be prohibitively expensive.

  • Solar panels will not provide sufficient green energy to power the system.

  • Passengers will be trapped inside the pods if there is a power failure.

  • High winds will cause structural damage.

  • Obtaining planning permission will not be easy.

  • Hyperloop will be a prime target for terrorists.


1   The heat and energy problems

The following low grade heat problems need to be addressed

(i) The total energy of the solar radiation falling on the Hyperloop tubes in early afternoon in summer will be approximately equal to the power output from a medium sized nuclear power station.
This heat has to be dissipated.

(ii) The pumps used to maintain the low air pressure inside the tubes generate heat.

(iii) Compressing the air to create an air cushion will produce further heating.

(iv) Intermittent high temperatures also cause thermal expansion problems for very long precision engineered tubes.


The Cheshire Innovation solution - Exploit this heat as a resource

(i) Use a new class of combined power generation and refrigeration units, known as Latent Power Turbines to simultaneously generate electricity and cool the air inside the tubes.

(ii) Use LP Turbines to cool the compression pumps.

(iii) Use LP Turbines to generate electricity at night by extracting thermal energy from air outside the tubes.

1.1 The Latent Power Turbine concept

[Discussed in greater detail on our LP Turbine theory page.]

Figure 1. This is a sketch of the demonstration Latent Power Turbine that will be built during the next few months. (Assuming applications for British DECC/TSB funding are successful.)


Figure 2. A chain of Latent Power Turbines can simultaneously condition warm moist air and generate electricity.


1.2 Cooling the Hyperloop tubes as a side effect of generating power

Here is the basic option:


Figure 3. One method of coupling LP Turbines to short (say 200 metre long) sections of the Hyperloop system.


1.3 Night time power generation

(i) The water sprays would be switched off.

(ii) The lagging would be removed from the LP Turbine containment tubes and heat would be extracted from the air in the external environment.

(iii) The outer walls of the Latent Power Turbine chamber would be SLIPS treated to prevent icing up if the night time temperature dropped below freezing.


1.4 Security of power supplies

Several hundred LP Turbine power stations can be installed along the route; each independently providing power 24/7. There will be adequate backup if one of the LP Turbine power stations fails or is sabotaged.


1.5 Saving on ground space and construction costs

The LP Turbine chains could be mounted vertically inside the support columns, with the LP Turbine containment tubes doubling up as the column structure.  If the turbine chains are suspended freely from the top of the columns, they will act as damping pendulums during an earthquake.

Storage tanks for the Hyperloop tube cooling water would be mounted at the top of the columns.
These would contribute sloshing modes of damping during earthquakes.


2   Building on Musk's own solution for cooling the compressed air

Musk suggests carrying a tank of water and turning it into steam to capture the heat produced by compressing the air.
We advise that by installing a Latent Power Turbine inside the pod, the latent heat stored in the steam can be converted into electricity. Carrying an LP Turbine will add weight to the pod, but this will be offset by requiring less water and battery capacity.

Figure 4. The shape is different, but the principles of LPT operation are the same as those
explained in Figure 1 above.


3   A sweetener for land owners and planning officers

LP Turbines are capable of generating far more electricity than the Hyperloop system requires. Land owners and communities affected by the building of the overhead system could be offered free electricity and hydrogen for powering their vehicles. [The hydrogen would be produced by using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.]

Planning officers would have to take into account the secondary benefit of the LP Turbines providing green energy for battery and hydrogen fuel recharging points along the adjacent highway.


4   Damping wind induced oscillations and earthquake movements

On the following web page we explain how Shock Absorbing Liquid (SALi)  can be be used to damp wind induced oscillations and isolate earthquake vibrations. "Potential civil and defence applications for SALi"

Transferring these designs to Hyperloop

If the cooling tunnel is extended to cover the complete length of both Hyperloop tubes, the SALi based decoupling system could look like this:

Figure 5. A Hyperloop support column incorporating two vibration decoupling SALi bearings.


Figure 6. A gust of wind has displaced the cooling tunnel, but the Hyperloop tubes have remained stationary. 
Sections of cooling tunnel can be joined by flexible couplings, allowing the tunnel to bend in response to uneven wind pressures.

The decoupled cooling tunnel also acts as a vibration damper during an earthquake.


5   Magtrac, our alternative to Hyperloop for shorter journeys

 To see our suggested alternative to Hyperloop for relatively short railway routes, please click.


6   Reducing the terrorist threat

Critics argue that Islamic terrorists will see Hyperloop as a prime American target.

LP Turbines can reduce this threat in several ways.

6.1 An external cooling tunnel enclosing the tubes would act as a disturber, dissipating projectile energy in a similar manner to the double thickness walls of  military vehicles. [See Appendix below for details.]

6.2 The wind response bearings and flexible couplings would allow the section of tunnel under attack to move, absorbing some of the attack energy.

6.3 Ambitious!
 Poverty is the best recruiting sergeant for Islamic extremism. It is followed close behind by anger over the plight of the Palestinians and a belief that the West is manipulating Middle Eastern countries to satisfy its greed for gas and oil.

We need to reverse this thinking by  giving Islamic nations hope that Western technology can lift them out of poverty. We also need to add value to the "land for peace" exchanges that will form part of a future Middle Eastern peace agreement.

The following pages on the Cheshire Innovation web site explain how Latent Power Turbines could be used to make these aspirations a reality.

Climate change Our moral dilemma

Latent Power, Solar Desalination Plant

The countries  that will benefit include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Algeria, Libra, Tunisia, Mali, Morocco and  Nigeria.

At first sight the oil producing Middle Eastern counties appear to be losers if LP Turbines and a hydrogen based economy take over from oil and gas.

But this does not have to be true, provided that the oil producers think long term.
World prosperity will bring about an increased demand for oil based products including fertilisers, plastics, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and lubricants.


If Hyperloop becomes a commercial reality, incorporating and highlighting the benefits of LP Turbines, it could have the counter intuitive effect of defeating extremist terrorism.



Appendix - Military vehicle protection

This Ministry of Defence slide explains how a disturbing layer diffuses threat energy. Similar principles are used to protect the International Space Station from micro-meteorite impact.

In the case of Hyperloop, the disturber layer would be thinner, but the air space greater than for vehicle body armour.