THE MAGNETIC SUSPENSION AND GUIDANCE OF HIGH SPEED VEHICLES

THIS REPORT DESCRIBES A PROGRAM OF RESEARCH CARRIED OUT ON SUPERCONDUCTING MAGNETIC SUSPENSIONS FOR HIGH SPEED VEHICLES, DURING A TWELVE MONTH PROJECT WHICH STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 1971. THIS REPORT DEALS MAINLY WITH THE TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT WORK CARRIED OUT AT CRANFIELD, INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MAGNETIC SUSPENSIONS OF WHICH SUPERCONDUCTING SUSPENSIONS ARE A SUBSET. IN THESE SUSPENSIONS THE SUSPENDING MAGNET TAKES THE FORM OF A POWERFUL SUPERCONDUCTING ELECTROMAGNET. AS THIS ELECTROMAGNET MOVES OVER CONDUCTING SHEETS OR LOOPS IT INDUCES CURRENTS IN THEM WHICH REPEL THE MAGNET. BY PLACING THE MAGNETS ON A VEHICLE AND THE CONDUCTORS ON ITS TRACK, THESE REPULSIVE FORCES CAN BE USED TO GUIDE AND SUPPORT THE VEHICLE AT VERY HIGH SPEEDS. IN ASSESSING THIS SUSPENSION FOR USE IN HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORT, ATTENTION IS PAID MORE TO THE VEHICLE AND TRANSPORT SYSTEM OF WHICH THE SUSPENSION IS A PART THAN IT IS TO THE SUSPENSION ITSELF. A NUMBER OF VEHICLE-TRACK DESIGNS HAVE BEEN PRODUCED AND EVALUATED FOR CAPITAL AND OPERATING COSTS. THESE OPERATING COSTS RANGE FROM 3.93P TO 5.62P PER PASSENGER KILOMETER FOR A (TWIN TRACK) THROUGHPUT OF 2,500 PASSENGERS PER DAY, TO 0.60P TO 0.97P PER PASSENGER KILOMETER FOR A THROUGHPUT OF 30,000 PASSENGERS PER DAY, DEPENDING ON THE SUSPENSION METHOD AND PROPULSION METHOD USED. THE ABOVE COSTS ARE FOR SYSTEMS USING TRACKS ON NEW ALIGNMENTS. COSTS HAVE ALSO BEEN PRODUCED FOR CONVERTED TRACKS. IT IS SEEN, WHEN MAKING COMPARISONS, THAT PROPULSION SYSTEMS USING POWER COLLECTED FROM THE TRACK ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THOSE USING POWER GENERATED ON BOARD THE VEHICLE AND THAT ONE FORM OF SUSPENSION (THE CONDUCTING SHEET SUSPENSION) IS SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE OTHER (NULL FLUX SUSPENSION). COMPARISONS WITH OTHER SYSTEMS, TREATED IN THE SAME WAY SHOW THAT COSTS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE FOR AIR CUSHION VEHICLES AND DUORAIL VEHICLES. THE PROPOSED CRUISE SPEED OF THE MAGNETICALLY SUSPENDED VEHICLES IS 134 M/S (OR 300 MPH) WHICH IS SOMEWHAT HIGHER THAN THAT OF THE AIR CUSHION VEHICLE CONSIDERED, AND MUCH HIGHER THAN THAT OF ANY DUORAIL SYSTEM. ANY ADVANTAGES ACCRUING TO THESE HIGHER SPEEDS, FROM SAVINGS IN TIME OR INCREASED DEMAND HAVE BEEN IGNORED, HOWEVER. THE REPORT PRESENTS A BRIEF TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION AND COSTINGS FOR SOME OF THE DESIGNS PRODUCED. OPERATING COSTS, AND COMPARISONS BETWEEN THEM, ARE THEN PRESENTED IN A SEPARATE SECTION WHICH IS FOLLOWED BY THE CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE WORK. THE CONCLUSIONS ARE, ESSENTIALLY, THAT SUPERCONDUCTING MAGNET SUSPENSIONS ARE BOTH TECHNICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY VIABLE, PENDING THE OUTCOME OF A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF BASIC RESEARCH ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUSPENSION ITSELF. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • APP
  • Authors:
    • Alston, A
    • Clark, J M
    • Hayden, J T
  • Publication Date: 1973

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  • Accession Number: 00242648
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 11 1974 12:00AM