TU Delft students win Hyperloop Pod Competition
Last weekend, the Delft Hyperloop team competed with 26 other teams for first place in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. The teams were challenged to achieve the highest possible speed in trials in a 1.2 km-long tube located next to the space travel company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Los Angeles. A jury judged the half-scale pods based on considerations including reliability, design and scalability. The TU Delft team was ultimately awarded the overall prize
The Hyperloop Pod Competition was launched by Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Musk personally opened the final, and visited the TU Delft team stand. With the competition, Musk is keen to stimulate the development of a revolutionary type of rapid, low-energy transport, which would be capable of transporting people and goods through extremely low-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 km/h. Taking up Musk’s challenge, student teams from all over the world designed, built and tested Hyperloop pods.
The pod entered into the competition by the TU Delft students is extremely lightweight: the use of carbon fibre, which is both light and strong, means that the TU Delft pod weighs just 149 kg. The pod itself is approximately 4.5 metres long and 1 metre high. Magnets are used to allow the pod to hover above the track, which means that very little energy is lost. Speeds of approximately 90 km/h were recorded during the competition. In a longer tube, the TU Delft prototype should be able to cope with speeds of up to 1,200 km/h.