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A hyperloop pod and its subsystems produce a significant amount of heat, while being in a low-pressure environment. How can hyperloop designers prevent the critical systems from overheating, crucial for the transport of both cargo and passengers?



A hyperloop pod is a levitating vehicle that travels within a low-pressure tube to achieve high speeds up to 300 m/s. Significant quantities of heat in the range of 6 kW to 30 MW are produced by various subsystems on the pod, including passengers. A thermal management systems (TMS) should prevent the critical subsystems from overheating. However, no research on a hyperloop TMS has yet been performed. In this research, the conceptual feasibility of radiation, sublimation and phase changing materials (PCMs) as a possible TMS for a full-scale hyperloop pod have been investigated. To this end, their mass, volume, and energy requirements, as well as their heat removal or storage capabilities were analyzed.


Thermal Managament Systems

Regarding the radiative heat removal system (RHRS), analytical calculations have been conducted on a one-sided fin radiating panel, based on a generalized heat-balance equation. To dissipate as much heat as possible into the tube, heat pumps must be incorporated into the RHRS. Therefore, their performance is investigated. For the analysis of the energy consumption of the sublimation based heat removal system (SBHRS), two-dimensional (2D) axisymmetric simulations have been performed using ANSYS Fluent to evaluate the aerodynamic drag. Simultaneously, the application of vacuum pumps and condensers on a hyperloop pod is explored. Their energy consumption is combined with the aerodynamic drag on the hyperloop pod to optimize the pressure in the tube. Furthermore, a thermal finite element method (FEM) analysis has been carried out using NX/Simcenter 3D to examine the charging process of seven selected PCMs, which are incorporated in the heat battery (HB) of the heat storage system (HSS). These PCMs were selected out of 97 PCMs with a melting temperature in the range of 0-30 °C, using the software ANSYS Granta EduPack. The melting behavior, as well as the mass, volume and energy consumption of the HSS are computed for a customized, full-scale heat battery, being a fin plate heat sink. The HSS possibly contains heat pumps, in the occasion that the temperature difference between the temperature of the coolant and the melting temperature of the PCMs needs to be bridged. 


It is recommended to apply an HSS, a combination of an HSS and an RHRS, or an SBHRS as a TMS. The selection of the most suitable TMS relies on the specific heat generation of the full-scale hyperloop, depending on the specific presence of different subsystems and the duration of the trip. It was found that the RHRS is limited to an order of tens of kilowatts, while a PCM HSS and SBHRS are able to handle peak cooling capacities of a few megawatts. Although the SBHRS is able to absorb a higher total cooling capacity, it necessitates additional tube infrastructure. Since all options have a significant impact on the hyperloop system, the most effective solution is to minimize heat production.

1 Comment

Petrica Tudosa · June 22, 2023 at 4:53 pm

I will have same Q
Efficiency and Performance:
How does the proposed thermal management system impact the overall energy efficiency of the Hyperloop vehicle?
What is the estimated heat dissipation capability of the system, and is it sufficient to handle the expected heat generation during high-speed operation?
Have simulations or prototypes been conducted to validate the performance of the thermal management system under various operating conditions?
Heat Dissipation and Cooling:
What specific cooling methods are being employed to dissipate heat from critical components?
How effective are these cooling methods in maintaining safe operating temperatures within the Hyperloop vehicle?
Has the study considered potential challenges such as thermal gradients and heat accumulation in specific areas of the vehicle?
Thermal Insulation and Environmental Factors:
What measures have been taken to ensure effective thermal insulation between the Hyperloop’s internal environment and the external surroundings?
How does the system account for external factors such as temperature variations, solar radiation, or extreme weather conditions?
Has the study assessed the long-term durability and performance of insulation materials in the Hyperloop’s operating environment?
Safety and Risk Mitigation:
What safety measures are in place to prevent overheating or thermal-related incidents that could compromise passenger safety?
Has the study identified potential fire hazards or thermal risks associated with the thermal management system, and how are they mitigated?
What contingency plans or fail-safe mechanisms exist in case of a thermal management system failure?
Integration and System Complexity:
How does the thermal management system integrate with other subsystems within the Hyperloop vehicle, such as the propulsion system, passenger compartments, and electronics?
Has the study accounted for potential interactions or conflicts between the thermal management system and other onboard systems?
What level of complexity does the proposed thermal management system introduce to the overall design, and how does it impact the vehicle’s manufacturability and maintenance?

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