Munich team wins fourth Hyperloop Pod Competition – again

Munich team wins fourth Hyperloop Pod Competition – again

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The pod of the TUM-Hyperloop team reached a maximum speed of 463.5 kilometers per hour. This was only just below the world record of 467 kilometres per hour set by the team in 2018. At 257.5 km/h, the second-placed podium of the Swissloop team of ETH Zurich lagged far behind. The EPFLoop team of the EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland) reached 238 km/h. The podium of the TU Delft caused a communication problem and after 200 meters the team had to brake hard.

Space-X founder Elon Musk presented the concept of the hyperloop, a super fast train racing through an evacuated tube system, in 2013. To advance his idea, he launched the “SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition” in 2015. At this year’s competition, a total of 21 student teams from all over the world competed against each other with their prototypes for the Hyperloop cabin capsule, the “Pod”.

The Pod of the TUM team is equipped with eight electric motors which, controlled by 288 power transistors, generate the rapidly changing magnetic fields for the propulsion of the vehicle, according to semiconductor manufacturer Infineon. One already suspects it: Infineon is the supplier of these components. This also applies to the battery master switches with 122 additional power semiconductors, which switch off the high-voltage battery in an emergency or for maintenance.

During the competition week, the Hyperloop Pod had to pass around 100 tests. “We passed all the tests successfully, but not all the first time,” says Jukic. Components failed, some of the software had to be rewritten, it took many night shifts to fix the problems.

At the same time, the TUM Hyperloop “Research Team”, which consists of 15 students, is researching the Hyperloop concept on feasibility, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. They built another Pod with a functioning levitation system, which they presented at the competition together with the associated ultra-sturdy concrete pipe system.

Not all observers share the euphoria surrounding the hyperloop. Skeptics point to the risks inherent in the principle of an empty transport tube. Should the Pod leak for any reason and the air escape from it, the occupants would be in acute danger. A rescue system for this emergency does not exist, according to the critics.

Related news:

WARR Hyperloop Team at TU Munich breaks its own speed record

Munich team wins Hyperloop speed competition

Wireless power concept promises to charge EVs on the go

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