A high-speed, high-quality and more efficient transport is a real need that is being developed within the last few years by companies like SpaceX. Elon Musk’s company launched a brainstorm for Universities all around the world to design and develop a new way of transport: the Hyperloop project. In 2016, the only classified Spanish team won in Design and Propulsion System’s categories, and in 2017, their pod Atlantic II was on the worldwide best top ten. Noksel España is Hyperloop UPV official partner after supplying a 12-meters spiral welded steel pipe for their tests. Therefore, the UPV Hyperloop team has been growing and working on their new pod called «Valentia» that they will show on 15th June at the University. «Valentia» is qualified to be in California’s competition in July.
During the presentation of the spiral welded steel pipe Noksel España supplied as Hyper-track for the team some months ago, we could talk to Fernando Galtier about the project:
Question: Why is the spiral welded steel pipe suitable as Hyper-track in comparison to other materials?
Answer: The main characteristic that makes the steel pipe better for these purposes is its resistance and easiness to make it hermetic and vacuum seal.
Q: According to your project’s development, what is the next step to take with the pipe?
A: We are planning to seal it and install vacuum pumps to make a vacuum chamber to run real Hyperloop tests.
Q: Have you thought about a route that you would like to build as Hyperloop UPV?
A: There are two main routes that we would like to explore. On the one hand, the Mediterranean Corridor by arriving to the main Spanish ports, crossing central Europa and reac
hing the main North European ports. It would be a good route for transport of goods and passengers.
Otherwise, we would like to connect Valencia with the Cantabrian Sea because of the transport of goods’ importance and for passengers too.
Q: Do steel pipe and pod change their features depending on the transport of goods or passengers?
A: We would like to avoid some mistakes made in the past like the different length of passing tracks in the rail sector. It would be good to agree on unified European criteria for a specific length of passing tracks and diameter.
Q: How is an Hyperloop route designed?
A: This is a high-speed transport so it is important that curves have as larger radius of curvature or the least curves as possible. Steel is a very good working material for this type of structure. Considering the environmental impact and barrier effect, the pipe would work better underground. Besides, it could be elevated on a piling structure in valleys and other terrestrial needs it.
Q: How do you work on the technical characteristics of the current Hyper-track?
A: This spiral welded steel pipes is much the analogous to the one used in SpaceX competition. Therefore, we can try and test our technology in similar conditions and keep developing our I+D. But we do know that is needed larger diameters in the future.