planemaker
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Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:44 am

Well, this topic could be in the av section if it impacts air travel in the future if viable... with only ~20 mins SF-LA downtown to downtown, potentially much more than high speed rail has between Paris and Lyon or Madrid and Barcelona, for example.

Musk tweeted the following...

Quote:
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk 15 Jul
Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.

For those that have not heard of the Hyperloop, Musk previously described it as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table” and “a really fun ride.”

Someone tweeted Musk back with his design guess and Musk said that it was the closest guess yet.
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2707200X
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:42 am

I'l take this over teleportation with atoms scattered everywhere. I like the idea, a great day trip to SF if you don't mind a few g-forges, I'm game. This reminds me of a proposed underwater "vactrain" tunnel between New York and London.
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travelavnut
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:48 am

It sounds like sci-fi, it sounds unrealistic, but I have learned not to bet against Mr. Musk.

Let's hope this will be as succesful as his other ventures!   
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Aesma
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:42 pm

The mention of a loop coming from a guy involved in rockets made me think about this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_loop

But apparently that's not it.
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PanHAM
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:09 pm

The Swiss had something like that and called it "Swiss metro"

Nice theory which never gets realised due to costs. Not even a fraction of the investment could be recovered and while HSR can be made to earn the cost of oerating and even pay a dividend, this project would also need to be subidized
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casinterest
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:08 pm

Just imagine being stuck underground if this thing malfunctions.

"look guys, we only have to hike 40 miles to the nearest exit point....."
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Aesma
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:46 pm

Well if it's underground there is no way it can be cheap. And wouldn't it be suicidal in unstable California ?
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planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:55 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
Nice theory which never gets realised due to costs. Not even a fraction of the investment could be recovered and while HSR can be made to earn the cost of oerating and even pay a dividend, this project would also need to be subidized

Musk has said that it would cost 1/10th the cost of the proposed SF-LA HST.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
Well if it's underground there is no way it can be cheap. And wouldn't it be suicidal in unstable California ?

It will be above ground.
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DocLightning
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:35 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
Well if it's underground there is no way it can be cheap. And wouldn't it be suicidal in unstable California ?

There are lots of underground railways in CA. BART and MUNI both operate underground for large portions of their respective networks. BART crosses the Bay in a submerged tube. Los Angeles has a subway.

The cost, on the other hand, is going to be the show-stopper here.

HSR lines are already expensive enough to build. Maglev lines are about twice as expensive to build per unit length. So now we're talking about a subterranian maglev in an evacuated tube. That's got to be at least twice as expensive per unit length again... probably 3-4x.

I agree that the CA HSR proposal has become increasingly ridiculous. It will be slower than any other "HSR" system except for Acela and takes an absurdly circuitous route. But I am not sure that this has any better chances. Yes, an evacuated "vactrain" could theoretically move indefinitely fast, but the costs (and safety issues...what happens if a train breaks down in an evacuated tube?) are going to be really hard to overcome.

The one thing it WON'T need a lot of is power. In a vacuum, the power to accelerate the train is considerable, but once it is at speed, there is minimal friction to fight so it will need minimal input to maintain its speed. And then on braking, most of the energy used in acceleration could be reclaimed. I daresay that the vacuum pumps and onboard systems (air/climate control, lighting, entertainment, etc.) will be the main power draws. In fact, they could even use conventional steel rails in a vacuum and still achieve mind-blowing speeds, since the friction in such a system is pretty small. And if you used the bogies as conductors, you could run the current up one rail, across the bogies, and back down the other rail and then have a rail gun. Kinda neat.

A lot of the cost to CA's system isn't physical; it's bureaucratic. Environmental impact statements, etc. etc. etc. So even if he thinks he could build his system for less than CA's, he's not taking into account the fact that he has to deal with all the red tape.
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Francoflier
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:38 pm

In an era when most investors only want massive, safe and quick return on investment, it is increasingly difficult to fund long term massive infrastructure projects, like an HST network.
And that's with proven technology and relatively predictable earnings... But this?

Something like this could only be funded by deluded billionaire visionaries. Good thing there are quite a few of them around these days.

Now, how about some small scale testing and concept proving for all these brilliant ideas?
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planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:59 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
HSR lines are already expensive enough to build. Maglev lines are about twice as expensive to build per unit length. So now we're talking about a subterranian maglev in an evacuated tube. That's got to be at least twice as expensive per unit length again... probably 3-4x.

No we are not talking 3-4x... Musk said 1/10th the cost of the current SF-LA HSR proposal. Musk also said that it is NOT an evacuated tube concept, and that for SF-LA it would NOT be underground.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
A lot of the cost to CA's system isn't physical; it's bureaucratic. Environmental impact statements, etc. etc. etc. So even if he thinks he could build his system for less than CA's, he's not taking into account the fact that he has to deal with all the red tape.

Oh, I'm very sure that Mr. Musk is aware of gov bureaucracy and red tape!
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DocLightning
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:50 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 10):
No we are not talking 3-4x... Musk said 1/10th the cost of the current SF-LA HSR proposal. Musk also said that it is NOT an evacuated tube concept, and that for SF-LA it would NOT be underground.

Given that you can't build a road for 1/10 that, I'm very interested to see.
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planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:29 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
I'm very interested to see.

So am I. Musk does tend to talk in superlatives but... he has been successful thus far where most said he would fail. We'll see what all the fuss is about August 12th. I'm sure there will be supporters and detractors.

I'll re-post what Musk HAS said about the Hyperloop.

- The system is "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table."
- There is no vacuum tube
- There is no maglev
- There is no "train" but some sort of pod
- System is crash-proof
- Has low energy usage (it could generate more power than it would consume.)
- Will cost less than an air ticket (in fact, he said less than any other mode!?)
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Maverick623
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:40 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 12):
- System is crash-proof

Physically impossible.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 12):

- Has low energy usage (it could generate more power than it would consume.)

Physically impossible.


I don't care how many "successes" this guy has had, he's full of poop with this concept.
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planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:45 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
Physically impossible.

Not "crash-proof" as in the system stops but "crash-proof" as in the cars will not collide (the cars will not "crash"). And that is not physically impossible.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
Physically impossible.

Not if the "could" is a the solar component that he has mentioned.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
I don't care how many "successes" this guy has had, he's full of poop with this concept.

Until Aug. 12th we have no way of knowing if he's full of poop.
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travelin man
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:05 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 12):
- Has low energy usage (it could generate more power than it would consume.)

That seems like it would go against the laws of physics, but then again I'm not Mr. Science.
 
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kngkyle
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:33 am

If Musk were the dictator of California and doing the project himself then perhaps it would be successful. But he has said many times that he doesn't have the time or desire to oversee such a project and is just presenting it as an idea. So in light of that, it ain't gonna happen.
 
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ER757
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 14):
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 13):
Physically impossible.

Not "crash-proof" as in the system stops but "crash-proof" as in the cars will not collide (the cars will not "crash"). And that is not physically impossible.

There are other types of crashes than collisions - a car could fly off the rail (or whatever the guide line is) just to name one other possible scenario. Remember the Titanic was "unsinkable" too - just sayin'

Nonetheless, my interest is certainly piqued and am looking forward to August 12th to hear more details.
I'm in the camp that thinks it'll never get past concept stage but "never say never"
 
planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:11 am

Quoting ER757 (Reply 17):
There are other types of crashes than collisions - a car could fly off the rail (or whatever the guide line is) just to name one other possible scenario. Remember the Titanic was "unsinkable" too - just sayin'

I know what you are trying to say but... the "pods" are inside a tube so they can't fly off. BTW, here is the link again to the best guess thus far of the system... Best Hyperloop Guess

Quoting ER757 (Reply 17):
I'm in the camp that thinks it'll never get past concept stage but "never say never"

If the system is close to achieving what Musk claims, then even if it doesn't go forward in California I hope that some enlightened jurisdiction goes ahead with it. Just as an example, Masdar, or some other gulf state, might be interested.
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Aesma
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:49 pm

Well from other sources he has said there is no tube.

Besides, if there is a tube, it's to void it of air, so this idea with an "air column" doesn't make sense, it's not trivial at all to accelerate air like that (if not impossible, because air is compressible). Friction losses would be horrendous.
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planemaker
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RE: Elon Musk Hyperloop: SF To LA In ~20 Minutes

Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:57 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 19):
Well from other sources he has said there is no tube.

Besides, if there is a tube, it's to void it of air, so this idea with an "air column" doesn't make sense, it's not trivial at all to accelerate air like that (if not impossible, because air is compressible). Friction losses would be horrendous.

Musk tweeted just FOUR days ago that the closest guess for his Hyperloop concept included a tube with "an air column." In fact, he has stated explicitly that the his concept does NOT include a vacuum as in the oft speculated ET3 concept or the Rand Corporation's Very High Speed Transit System.
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