Nevomo has published a review that looks at its own developments in 2020 and those of other hyperloop companies, as well as looking ahead. The new magnetic vacuum method of railway transport could enable travel at speeds of up to 1,000km/h.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 brought many successes in the area of hyperloop technology development and that progress will not slow down in 2021, said Nevomo.
In 2021, Nevomo plans to launch magnetic rail technology tests on a full-scale. It has already completed the first magrail tests on a medium-sized track – with a focus on the performance of a linear motor. In mid-2021 the company plans to start full-scale tests.
Przemyslaw Paczek, CEO and co-founder of Nevomo says: “Thanks to the experience gained from last year’s medium-scale tests, stepping onto the full-scale track will be much easier for us. Our experience also allows us to minimize the risk of making mistakes, which would be much more serious on a larger scale. Our current priority is to launch the pilot program and certification process as soon as possible. We want to make sure that the magrail technology will be ready around 2024-2025 to sign the first commercial implementation contract.”
The company said that 2020 played a significant role in the development of hyperloop; successes were not only achieved by private companies, but the technology has also become more and more popular with government representatives,” said Nevomo. At the end of July, the US Department of Transportation issued guidelines establishing regulations for hyperloop technology, and the EU member states have formed a Joint Technical Committee to oversee the development of common standards and methods of operation. Nevomo added that breakthroughs that bring the development of the technology closer included the test ride of the Virgin Hyperloop capsule with passengers on board and the establishment of the Hyperloop Development Program, a project involving European companies, including Nevomo.
Nevomo is focused on the development of key hyperloop components: propulsion, levitation, and control subsystems. They can also be implemented as part of a magrail technology invented by Nevomo – this is a solution that allows for the use of magnetic levitation within the existing railway infrastructure and a stepwise approach to hyperloop. Consequently, the upgrades can be implemented as a retrofit of existing railway lines, and hence it will not require huge investments in the construction of new transport corridors, said Nevolmo. The vehicles will be able to move at speeds up to 550km/h in this way.
Last June Nevomo also established cooperation with Spanish infrastructure design and analysis company IDOM. IDOM supports Nevomo with its experience in the design of high-speed railway lines and traffic research as well as business analyses related to their development. Together with IDOM, Nevomo has developed a preliminary feasibility study for the implementation of magnetic rail on the Warsaw – Lodz – Wroclaw/Poznan line.
In February, a key decision was taken in Brussels to establish a Joint Technical Committee of CEN and CENELEC (JTC 20). It aims to create a uniform system and technical standards and regulations of ultra-fast transport throughout the continent.
One of the initiatives that may accelerate the development of technologies based on the idea of hyperloop in Europe is the ‘HyperNex: Ignition of the European Hyperloop Ecosystem’ project lead by the Shift2Rail initiative. The project aims to start joint research and cooperation between businesses, research centres and R&D institutions interested in developing a new generation of transport systems such as hyperloop. Nevomo is responsible for coordinating innovative concepts suitable for guided transport modes.
Nevomo will also take part in another European-level initiative – the Dutch Hyperloop Development Programme, which was announced last December. The launch of the programme is planned for the beginning of 2021. It will include, for instance, the creation of the European Hyperloop Centre with a 2.6km test track.
Jeroen in’t Veld, president of the Hyperloop Development Programme said: “With its expertise, Nevomo will make a valuable contribution to the R&D activities on engine and power system design that will be carried out within the Cargo working group. Global projects such as the development of hyperloop technology can only be achieved through collaboration between players both from the private and public sectors.”
The coronavirus pandemic did not overshadow the environmental and climatic disaster threat. An important area where changes in the reduction of the carbon footprint are needed is mass transport. The search for alternative, green solutions is a major challenge for both engineers and decision-makers. Technologies like the hyperloop can be the key to solving this problem, said Nevomo.
Johannes Braun who joined Nevomo’s Advisory Board in 2020, said: “Comfortable, safe, and environmentally friendly travel between city centres from e.g. Warsaw to Berlin in less than two hours is no longer a vision – it is technically feasible.” Previously Braun was responsible for the record-speed construction of the Transrapid Maglev project in Shanghai.