Changing the perception of distance

HYPED is the University of Edinburgh’s Hyperloop Team, dedicated to developing the world’s fifth mode of transport. The Hyperloop concept, developed by Elon Musk, consists of a long evacuated tube through which levitated capsules, called pods, travel through, propelled by electromagnetic forces. It is predicted to be the fastest mode of ground transportation, reducing the travel time from Edinburgh to London to 45 minutes. The speed is due to the evacuated tube generating very little drag, and the levitating pod eliminating the conventional problem of rolling friction. Not only is Hyperloop the fastest option, it is also the most sustainable as it is powered by electricity. Feasibility studies have shown that Hyperloop travel may outperform the low energy consumption of electric cars.

Daniel Carbonell working on the magnetic motors and wheels.

Magnetic propulsion has always been central to HYPED’s prototype design. From Halbach wheels to Arc Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors, and this year to Linear Induction Motors, HYPED has always experimented with innovative methods of magnetic propulsion. The major reason for not using friction propulsion is avoiding the issue of rolling resistance. At the high speeds central to the Hyperloop concept, that resistance becomes a real problem in system overheating and deformation. Therefore, implementing contactless, magnetic propulsion is implicit in Hyperloop design. 

 Luisa Schrempf working on the stator and windings.

So far, the company Virgin Hyperloop One has been at the forefront of creating this new method of transportation. The current challenge for all Hyperloop development is that it is a new technology which will potentially carry many people, and therefore, the technology has to be developed and tested before it can reach the market. The question of feasibility will always be one of the most broad and contentious issues facing Hyperloop. Feasibility studies are being conducted worldwide, and Hyperloop technology is being developed and implemented in several locations across the globe. The success of these projects, to be determined within the decade, will likely characterize the face of Hyperloop and significantly impact the likelihood of the concept really taking off. 

HYPED is focused on making Hyperloop a reality by conducting research and creating prototypes of pods. At its inception, HYPED won the Virgin Hyperloop One Global Challenge, outcompeting 2600 other teams, having proposed a 45 minute Edinburgh-London route and producing an in-depth feasibility study. In addition to winning this challenge, HYPED also competed in Elon’s SpaceX competition for 3 years straight, placing each year in the top 20 out of 1000 participants. As a result of its high performance, HYPED has gained a lot of attention from media outlets such as BBC News, The Times and The Telegraph. 

HYPED at SpaceX 2019.

In order to perfect its prototypes, the society is building the first ever UK Hyperloop test track – this is underway on campus at Edinburgh University’s King’s Buildings. This project will help advance HYPED’s research on Hyperloop and help the society sustain its place as one of the leading Hyperloop teams in the world.

Team Sync January 2020

HYPED is a society with 115 current members and a six figure budget, making them one of the biggest Hyperloop teams in the world. Behind HYPED’s many accomplishments is a team of dedicated and enthusiastic members. The society gives students the opportunity to experience a work environment, as well as a close bond with fellow members. Although it is a relatively large society, HYPED is composed of 10 teams of between 5 to 15 members, who work together in their given field. In addition, the society has a Team Sync every month and socials every two weeks for the whole community to come together and share their advancements.  

Follow HYPED on their journey to developing the hyperloop on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or email them to become part of the team.

This post was written by Ella Ritchie and Alex White, and edited by Ailie McWhinnie.

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