Flow characteristics of a Hyperloop vehicle

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Computing

Abstract

Approximately 85% of the energy used by high speed trains is spent overcoming aerodynamic resistance. In aviation, to minimise this, aircraft climb to great heights where the air density is low, thus reducing resistance and improving energy efficiency. Attempting to achieve similar benefits for land transport, Hyperloop is a newly proposed mode of transportation where vehicles move at speeds of up to 1200km/h within a tube held at vacuum-type conditions. Therefore, it presents a potential step-change in transport engineering, allowing people to move vast distances in short periods of time. However, the infancy of the technology means there are many unknowns regarding the aerodynamic behaviour of Hyperloop vehicles in an enclosed low-pressure environment. Therefore, validation of the computational strategy using wind tunnel data from past studies into high-speed trains will be important.
Beyond validation, this project will explore the feasibility of the technology by developing novel CFD simulation approaches for Hyperloop vehicles. Investigations will cover vehicle nose shape, tube gaseous density, piston effects and the geometry of the internal tube. Using simulation results, a proof-of-concept Hyperloop design will be developed that minimises drag across a useful speed range, thus optimising the relationship between vehicle speed and energy consumption.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2438559 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 James Alexander Lang