Competitors

The TozoniMAGLEV system is unique in that it uses the attractive force of permanent magnets and steel for levitation and propulsion. Due to this, the system does not require expensive, refrigerated superconducting systems, large and bulky electromagnets, or complex, expensive, and redundant servo control and safety systems. Since the Halbach Array systems are limited in speed and prone to vibrations, and the Japanese JR-Maglev system is still under development, we consider the German Transrapid system to be our main competitor. Below is the results of our preliminary research, comparing the key aspects of their system with ours:

Siemens Transrapid v.s. TozoniMAGLEV comparison

Considerations for design of new Transrapid vehicle:

  • No analytical test available for electromagnet lifting forces – Testing has to be done by trial-and-error using variable size electromagnets. Due to the size of electromagnets and their surrounding coils, and possible coil overheating issues, building a cargo train capable of lifting 30ton containers may be impossible.

  • No analytical test of motor capacity – Testing has to done by constructing and testing sections of full-scale models. Testing on final full-scale track may be required to optimize speed and power consumption.

  • New track capable of supporting cargo containers and heavier Transrapid trains must be designed.

Considerations for design of new MAGLEV cargo vehicle:

  • Lift capability can be analytically calculated and designed using mathematical calculations ad computer programs, before construction even begins. Calculations provide conservative estimates within 2% to 5% of actual results. Final results can be confirmed using a smaller, cheaper test model.

  • All parts of the motor, including size, propulsion force, speed, acceleration, current, temperature in coils, and power consumption at each transformer substation can be analytically calculated, and the track planned out before construction begins.

  • New track capable of supporting cargo containers and simpler cargo trains must also be designed.


Assuming 79.7m Siemens Transrapid 08 vehicle, and adjusting to a 15m equivalent section:


Transrapid (Passenger)

TozoniMAGLEV (Passenger)

Empty weight

~28 tons

~12 tons

Payload

~22 tons

~22 tons

Design Speed

500km/h

500km/h

Support gap

10mm

10mm

Driverless operation

Yes

Yes

Levitation method

Electromagnets

Permanent magnets

Power consumption for lift

1.7kW per ton, 51kW for 30ton cargo alone.

0kW. No power used for lift

Power consumption for guidance

Not specified, but uses similar technology. Assuming lateral forces of up to 6 tons, varies between 0kW and 10kW.

0kW. No power used for guidance

Power consumption at 400km/h

~6.0MW

~3.9MW

Power efficiency

85%

95%+

Vehicle acceleration

0.85 m/s2

1+m/s2

Onboard battery

For emergency vehicle levitation, and auxiliary control systems

Not required for vehicle levitation.

Motor used

Synchronous long-stator linear motor

Permanent Magnet Synchronous linear motor

Motor location

Integrated into levitation system. Constrained by interference between steel rails used for levitation and aluminum windings used for propulsion.

Independent of levitation system. Increasing propulsion power will not interfere with lift. Precise motor calculations possible.

Motor synchronizing mechanism

Constant radio link between train and substation precisely synchronizes the variable-frequency electromagnetic wave to the train. (May have interference due to lighting or radio signal jamming)

Embedded markings (magnetic or visual) along the track signal motor magnets to physically adjust positions to specified wave lengths to match variable-length traveling wave.

Power frequency used

Variable, controlled by substations along the track.

Constant 50hz. Substations only contain voltage transformers.

Speed control

Calculated and set automatically before train departs by predetermined signals sent to the power substations.

Set automatically by predetermined coil lengths physically set into the track during construction.

Levitation control

Electronic: servos and gap sensors regulate power to electromagnets to maintain suspension distance and lateral guidance. Redundant electrical systems are complex, and have caused fires, including in commercial Shanghai system.

Magneto-mechanical: precisely calculated physical parameters ensure the system levitates in its natural state.

Wear/Maintenance parts

Battery, servos, electronic control systems, gap sensors, radio components

Low speed support wheels, motor magnet adjustment system, guiding unit adjustment system used during initial loading.

Minimum distance/time interval between trains

Due to linear motor magnetic wave in each section being synchronized to each train by radio, only one train can be on each section at a time. Minimum section length is 0.3km. For high-speed 5km long sections, minimum train separation is 80 seconds.

Each train providing its own automated propulsion means distance between trains can be ~0, and is only limited by heat tolerance of linear motor coils (15 second time intervals possible)

Vehicle control

Remote controlled through redundant radio communications from a control room. Predetermined motion profiles and scenarios are computed and sent out to substations along the track.

Fully automatic. Once vehicle is launched, it will continue to its destination based on parameters built into the track. Conveyor-like set-it-and-forget-it system.

In case of power failure

Uses battery to maintain levitation until train comes to a stop. In case of total power failure, lands on skids. Due to high friction at extremely high speeds, this can result in a fire.

Levitation does not require a power source. Total power failure will result in train continuing to hover until it drops below 20mph, at which point emergency skids or wheels can be used.

Cost per mile of double-track

€25million as stated by Transrapid, €46.6 million for commercial system construction in Shanghai. China estimates a more optimized construction for the new line extension will cost $29m per mile.

$15 million per mile (ROUGH estimate with largest contributing variable of approximately $5.8 mil being the concrete base)


Sources:

For TozoniMAGLEV:

Oleg Tozoni: Magnetic Levitation Based on Permanent Magnets and its Applications for High Speed Ground Transportation and Launching, 2006

For Transrapid:

Glasers Annalen, ZEVrail, Transrapid - Innovative Verkehrstechnik für das 21.Jahrhundert, Georg Siemens Verlag 2003, ISSN 1618-8330, Die Systemtechnik des Transrapid-Fahrwegs S. 37

Rudolf Breimeier: Das Märchen vom Transrapid. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International, Heft 8-9/2003, ISSN 1421-2811, S. 346.

Siegried Burkert: Magnetschwebebahn Transrapid Technische Voraussetzungen für kurze Zugfolgezeiten, Signal + Draht, 6/2002, ohne Seitenangabe

Betriebserfahrungen beim Transrapid Shanghai, Dr.Ing.Löser, 4. Dresdner Fachtagung Transrapid 2004, Seite 103

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transrapid, Retrieved 9 March 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev_(transport), Retrieved 9 March 2011