HELIOS II

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HELIOS II

The Delft Hyperloop pod represents a cutting-edge advancement in transportation, embodying a vision of rapid and efficient travel. At its core lies a sophisticated LFSPM motor, seamlessly integrated into a streamlined aluminum frame. This motor employs an ingenious magnetic field configuration, incorporating 24 U-shaped cores with adaptable polarity coils, all powered by a dual battery system designed for optimal performance.

Take a look at all of the different sub-systems in the pod and their technical details to understand how this amazing innovation was realized.

An innovative feature of the pod is its levitation capability, facilitated by the Hybrid Electromagnetic Suspension (HEMS) system. This system utilizes four iron U-cores, each equipped with magnets and coils to actively control the pod's elevation, ensuring a continuous, minimal airgap between the pod and the track. Safety is paramount, with 12 strategically positioned wheels preventing any undesirable contact with the track.

In the event of an emergency, the pod is equipped with a pneumatic brake system, offering redundancy and automatic engagement in case of pressure or power loss. The entire system is overseen by a sophisticated Sense and Control system, which monitors various parameters and maintains constant communication with the ground station. The hyperloop pod thus combines advanced technology with a strong emphasis on safety and efficiency.

MECHANICAL

In order for the hyperloop to be effective it needs to have a safe and reliable base structure to build upon. This is the responsibility of the mechanical department, consisting of lead William van Nieuwburg, and engineers Massimo Coppola, Robin Looman, Ibrahim Mohsen and Isabel de Vocht. This department ensures a solid foundation for the Helios II subsystems and all future generations of hyperloop technology.

The 50 meter long hanging track design provides guidance from above the pod, resulting in improved stability and assisting in lane switching compatibility. To ensure the possibility of large scale implementation, the track is constructed from a combination of construction steel and aluminium, making it incredibly cost effective.

Interested? Have a look at the technical details!

The chassis is made from aircraft grade aluminium, resulting in a design that is only 11% of the total pod weight, while being able to withstand the high impact and vibrational forces induced during operation. The modular design of the chassis makes sure that all parts are adjustable and replaceable.

Furthermore, the emergency brakes of the pod have been carefully designed to be as failsafe as possible, ensuring the safety of future passengers in all critical situations. Even though the entire system weighs only 35kg, it is able to bring the 500kg pod to a stand still in less than 1/4th of a second.

Finally the carbon fibre aeroshell provides the pod with an aerodynamic shape and outer protection layer for the sensitive subsystems within. Its lightweight characteristics and drag coefficient of only 0.35 make it highly effective, while its nose-nose design means that it can travel both directions without a reduction in efficiency.

LEVITATION

DH07 knows that in order to take the race toward hyperloop technology to new heights, a full levitation system (vertical and lateral) is a requirement. That is why the Levitation Department immediately took on the challenge of being the first DH team to develop a full magnetic levitation system. The levitation department, consisting of Max Krause, Fenna Kiewiet de Jonge, Mario Padron Tardaguila and Bauke Schenkelaars, designed a system that employs 8 electromagnet units to control the vertical and lateral position of the pod, suspending the pod beneath the steel track and using the magnets to pull the pod up.

Interested? Have a look at the technical details!

A challenge in making an electromagnetic levitation system is to reduce the power consumption. That is why the vertical electromagnet units also make use of permanent neodymium magnets that already provide most of the lift force.

Furthermore, the system becomes extremely energy-efficient thanks to its new zero-current control loop, that automatically finds a balance between the force of gravity and the force of the neodymium magnets. This way, the pod can levitate using a power of merely <0.5W/kg!

This levitation system proved to be very successful at the competition in Edinburgh, being far ahead of the competition in terms of energy efficiency, thus providing a solid foundation for the next year's DH08 to improve and perfect the system.

PROPULSION

The Linear Flux Switching  Permanent Magnet Motor is a novel motor type which places the permanent magnet perpendicular to the coils. Instead of continuously creating the magnetic field using electricity, requiring large amounts of power, the coil is merely there to 'steer' the electromagnetic field. This makes for a efficient, and high performing motor.

Interested? Have a look at the technical details!

The motor consists of a coil, a magnet and two U-cores. The U-cores are glued to the permanent magnet creating an E-module, in which the coil is placed, thus perpendicular to the magnet.

The cores are made out of laminated steel sheets, to reduce the eddy-current losses. A neodymium magnet is used for its high volumetric strength, which is required in the confined motor module.

The motor provides a zero power lift of TBD N, at the nominal air gap of 12.5mm. At full power, the motor generates over 700N of thrust with a slightly higher lift force. It does this with an efficiency of over 80% at the design speed of 10 m/s.

SENSE & CONTROL

The Sense and Control sub-system integrates all subsystems by supplying the top-level control of the pod. This control is done using all sensory inputs that are gathered around the pod. In this manner, the subsystem thus acts as the brain and nerves of the pod. Because of its cruciality, robustness, efficiency and safety are the focus of the department developing the subsystem.

Interested? Have a look at the technical details!

CONTROL:
All the control hardware in the pod is custom made. Two of the most important control systems are the Main PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and the Braking PCB, for the top-level control and braking control respectively.

SENSORS AND LOCALIZATION:
Sensors monitoring the internal and external environment of the pod enable the high- and low-level control of the pod. The localization system is a custom-made optical encoder system that can determine the location of the pod along the track with an accuracy up to 3mm.

SOFTWARE:
Behind the hardware, a robust software infrastructure realizes the operation of the pod. Using a state-driven control system, the pod can transition between a set of possible operating states. The ground station and its interface enable for easy monitoring of the performance of the system.

POWERTRAIN

The powertrain system is the heart of Helios II. With the task of supplying high amounts power to the sense & control, levitation and propulsion subsystems, the DH07 powertrain department, consisting of Martijn, Stefano, Danial and Mirko, opted to build a safe and robust system, capable of powering the pod for extended periods of time, all whilst keeping safety as a main priority.

Interested? Have a look at the technical details!

BATTERIES:
DH07 is the first Delft Hyperloop team to make use of cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells. These batteries are relatively safe, and can operate perfectly in a vacuum! Moreover, their incredible energy density results in a high voltage battery with a stunning capacity of 6.3 kWh. This allows Helios II to levitate and propell for enormous amounts of time!

POWER DISTRIBUTION BOARDS:
Multiple power distribution boards for both high and low voltage ensure that all power from the batteries is safely and properly distributed towards all electronics on Helios II.

POWERTRAIN CONTROLLERS:
The control of the powertrain system is done from one central hub: the powertrain controller. This controller monitors everything happening to ensure that everything runs smoothly and safely. It is in direct communication with the rest of the pod.

LEVITATION SYSTEM

Experience the advanced magnetic suspension system that operates in our Hyperloop prototype. This system achieves full levitation through the precise control of magnetic forces and electric currents. Join us on a journey to understand the technology behind this incredible system.

PROPULSION SYSTEM

Discover the cutting-edge technology behind the Helios II pod's propulsion system, designed and engineered by Delft Hyperloop. In this video, we delve into our innovative electromagnetic motor (LFSPM), its magnetic interaction, and its seamless coordination with the track. Get ready to witness the magic of precision engineering in action as we explain how this system propels the pod to incredible speeds.

HELIOS II (2023)

DELFT HYPERLOOP VII

This year Delft Hyperloop made large steps towards a full-scale hyperloop system. The seventh team developed a motor that had never been made before in the world. A so called LFSPM, a Linear Flux Switching Permanent Magnet Motor. This motor does not propel the pod from the track, but is located on the pod itself. As a result, there are far fewer costly materials in the track, which means that the infrastructure will be much easier and cheaper to implement. To eliminate all rolling resistance, the team made the entire pod have no contact with the track. They did this by magnetically damping the pod in both vertical and lateral directions. So, for the first time, the pod was completely levitating! This is also a necessary step to achieve extremely high speeds in the most efficient way possible in a full hyperloop system.

There are many electrical components on the pod that produce a lot of heat. Heat cannot be dissipated in a vacuum, so the team designed what is called a heat battery for this. This heat battery contains a type of wax where all the heat can be stored without the temperature increasing. This solution may seem simple, but it is crucial to protect our most complex systems

The team competed with this extremely innovative pod during the EHW in Edinburgh, Scotland, and won 4 prizes! The Innovation award, the Mechanical award, the Technical full-scale award and the Social Economic full-scale award.