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Magnovate - Maglev for the Toronto Zoo - Part II Engineering

Magnovate Maglev

This is our second part in a series of the Magnovate Company Maglev that has been approved to be put into the Toronto Zoo. The implementation of the Maglev at the Zoo will show to the world the potential of this technology.We will focus on the engineering benefits of the Maglev.

Maglev Engineering

Magline’s patented powertrain technology uses magnetic levitation (or maglev); a system of magnets to suspend and propel vehicles along a guideway. Maglev trains in Germany and Japan safely operated at speeds near 500 kph for decades, but are too expensive and lack high-speed switching capability. These existing systems long ago proved the enormous performance benefits of replacing conventional wheels-on- axles with frictionless maglev drives

Levitation eliminates the pounding of steel wheels on tracks as well as friction and rolling resistance and enables high speeds and unparalleled energy efficiency with minimal wear. Maglev vehicles cost less to build and make much less noise both inside and outside and have low maintenance costs. Versatile ground transport at substantially high speeds creates new opportunities for travel between distant cities, not mere incremental improvements as with HSR. Data from two different maglev systems with over a decade of daily passenger operations proves the engineering benefits of maglev. 

The engineering benefits are:

High Speed: Since lift, guidance, and propulsion occur without physical contact, speeds over 500 km/hr per hour are well within the technological limits. Magnetic drag is small at high speeds, and only aerodynamic drag consumes appreciable energy. Limiting the top speed of maglev is a cost trade-off decision, not a physical or engineering limit.

High frequency service: Maglev has the potential for high frequency of service and the ability to serve central business districts, airports, and other metropolitan area nodes.

Faster trips
: Maglev offers superior acceleration rates and curving performance to high-speed rail, both of which serve to lower trip times. Door-to-door trip time is even lower than air travel for trips under 500 kms due to better access to maglev's smaller stations and to the taxi and idling time inherent in air travel. Maglev is competitive with nonstop flights for trips up to 800 kms.

Low energy consumption: The basic physics of magnetic lift and electrical propulsion provide high energy efficiency. Maglev can offer trip times competitive with air travel for a small fraction of the energy consumption. Even with the electrical conversion efficiencies typical of modern power plants factored in, maglev consumes only 25-50% the energy per seat-mile of a 737-300 for a 125 to 620 mile trip.

Low operating costs: Maglev's low energy consumption, low maintenance needs, and fully automated operation (in ATN configuration) combine to offer a potential for very low operating costs. In addition, while maglev's guideways require substantial initial investment, they offer enormous capacity. Operators could set low incremental ticket prices that would, nevertheless, exceed incremental costs. That could lead to very large traffic volumes, amortizing the original capital investment and making the economic performance of the system attractive in the long term.

High reliability: Maglev is less susceptible to congestion and weather conditions than air or highway.

Dedicated guideways,
excellent sensing and control features, and redundant braking enable vehicles to operate safely under more extreme conditions. Fog, rain, heavy snow, and high winds pose fewer safety concerns. Non-contact propulsion and braking render maglev less susceptible to the restrictions snow, ice, and rain place on other transportation systems.

No friction:
High-speed rail in Europe and Japan, and air travel in general, have outstanding safety records. However, both technologies require extensive maintenance (inspections and adjustments) to achieve such safety. Maglev propulsions is free from vehicle on track friction, so it avoids the financial burden of a speed/maintenance penalty which conventional HSR is subject to. Guideway maintenance for maglev systems is practically non-existent, regardless of speed, representing a huge benefit to inter- city lines.

Excellent System Control: Dedicated, powered guideways provide maglev with decisive control advantages over air and highway travel. A fully automated system with precise sensing and positioning control is possible. Such control capability, coupled with redundant braking modes, enables the use of very short vehicle headways.

High capacity: Maglev can transport 65,000 passengers per hour at a cost of $25 million per kilometer. An equivalent air capacity would be 60 Boeing 767's per hour departing in each direction at 1-minute intervals. Such a rate would tax even the most efficient airports. Comparable highway traffic would require 5 lanes per direction.

Safety: Design features make maglev vehicles inherently safe. Maglev offers exceptional derailment protection. Large-gap maglev systems, in particular, are much more tolerant of guideway displacements than high-speed rail. Elevated guideways help avoid accidents and automobile traffic while conserving land and integrity of farms.

Lightweight elevated guideways: Stations require little space to accommodate narrow maglev vehicles. Elevated guideways have small footprints and can be located along existing rail and highway rights-of-way, bringing maglev vehicles directly into inner-city terminals. With such access/egress advantages, maglev offers much lower access times and better intermodal connections than air travel.

Low noise: Maglev eliminates wheel-rail and pantograph-catenary contact, the major noise sources of high-speed rail at low speeds. Their absence allows higher speed and/or smaller buffer areas than other modes along noise-limited routes such as urban areas. At high speeds maglev produces half the noise as high-speed rail, providing benefits along rural route sections.

Freight transport:
Maglev offers the potential for fast, fully automated freight transport, with goods arriving within seconds of their scheduled time – perfect for "just-in-time" manufacturing.

For more information on Magnovate go to their website.