Editorial Feature

Hyperloop Transport System to Use Solar Panels to Self-Power

By Kris Walker

Could this be the next mode of transport for cross country travel?

Elon Musk’s proposal of the ‘Hyperloop Alpha’ could mean a potential ‘fifth mode of transport’ in the future for cross country travel initially for the West Coast of the United States.

Looking into the key features of travel such as comfort, cost and speed, the hyperloop transport system is predicted to travel from LA to San Francisco in just 35 minutes.

What has been considered is the environmental impacts of such a method of transportation with the design consisting of solar arrays that would ‘self-power’ the system.

Consisting of a low pressure tube the hyperloop would be made up of capsules, supported on pockets of air and transported at both high and low speeds. Magnetic accelerators would be placed at stations on the low-pressure tube and would create a suitable environment for passengers to travel in comfort and arrive at their destination.

Solar arrays placed on the tubes would self-power the system.

Solar arrays would be placed at the top of the tubes and would generate enough energy to power the entire system. The solar panel would have a possible area of 14 ft (4.25 m) wide for more than 350 miles (563 km).

Such a large area of solar arrays would expect energy production of 0.015 hp/ft2 (120 W/m2), producing up to 382,000 hp (285 MW) at peak solar activity. This energy would be stored as compressed air that in turn would run an electric fan, in reverse, to produce energy.

What is envisaged with the hyperloop transport system not only has the capabilities for quick, efficient transportation, with the added bonus of comfort for the passengers; it also has the purpose of using renewable energy to power the system.

The hyperloop transportation system could represent the next step in travel and a potential future of considering the environmental impacts a technology could have on the world.

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Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Reference:  Tesla Motors

Hyperloop Alpha

Initial designs of the 'Hyperloop Alpha' could be self powered using solar arrays.
LA to San Francisco in 35 minutes! Travelling on compressed air at different speeds, using magnetic accelerators would enable the hyperloop transport system to be an efficient mode of transport.
The hyperloop would travel at high speeds using renewable energy.
Comfortable transportation! The hyperloop transport system would literally drop you off at your exit!
Kris Walker

Written by

Kris Walker

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Aside from overseeing the editorial and video teams, Kris can be found in far flung corners of the world capturing the story behind the science on behalf of our clients. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.


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