SpaceX Hyperloop CompetitionHelen Baker
HypED is a University of Edinburgh student-led project that is blazing a successful path for British engineers in Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project – and demonstrating an innovative new future for hydraulics in the process.
In August 2017, 25 teams from around the world convened at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California to compete on the test track of a truly revolutionary mode of transport: the Hyperloop.
Elon Musk has described Hyperloop as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table”. Hyperloop uses tunnels and pods (or capsules) to move at extremely high speeds along a low pressure transit tube.
The team from the University of Edinburgh, HypED, were one of the teams to be shortlisted and were invited to California in August 2017 to participate in the final of Space-X’s 2017 Hyperloop competition in California.
Hydraulics Online involvement with the HypED team began in April 2017 when HypED started searching for the hydraulic parts that would be used in the brake systems of its Hyperloop competition pod. HypED President, Adam Anyszewski explains:
Hydraulics Online was the only supplier who responded to our requirements. Hydraulics Online took the pressure off.
Adam Anyszewski, President, HypED
Bespoke Consultancy Services
And, as it turned out, Hydraulics Online’s design consultancy services have had major benefits for the HypED project. Adam says: “We had our idealistic design of how we wanted it to work, and then Hydraulics Online helped us take it from an idea on paper to an actual design that can be manufactured effectively. The input we got from Hydraulics Online was really something we couldn’t get elsewhere. They have been
very, very helpful.”
The HypED team have since praised the knowledge and input of the Hydraulics Online team, in terms of available parts, the connections, all the safety requirements, design, and manufacturing services.
Adam comments: “Basically, Hydaulics Online helped us to take it from concept to a working design that achieved the functionality in a safe and certified manner. They prevented a lot of stress. They worked closely with us over multiple iterations and agreed to help us with the manufacture – and this really took the pressure off.”
Hyperloop Competition – A Fantastic Achievement
The HypED team did amazingly well to make it to California and were the only UK team to do so, and one of only 5 teams from Europe. The HypED team’s pod performed well in pre-run tests at the Space-X facility and was praised for its functionality and robustness. It also attracted positive comments from other competitors for compact design and quality of manufacturing.
Getting to California was super-exciting and super-stressful but Hydraulics Online’s ability to take the pressure off us has been of significant benefit. Hydraulics Online have been very, very helpful.
Sadly, Space-X reduced the number of pods that would race on the track from 5 to 3, and HypED missed out on their chance to run their pod on the track. The competition was won by the team from the Technical University of Munich with a pod that reached more than 200 mph. Meanwhile, HypED’s commercial team was one of the ten winners – and the only student team to win – from among 2600 entrants in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge with their feasibility study of a commercial Hyperloop route between Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London.
Given their good showing, the HypED team are now officially participating in the next iteration of the SpaceX Hyperloop competition next year, which will be focused on the maximum speed to be achieved by a self-propelled prototype. HypED are , in their own words, ‘staying hyped’ and their confidence is high: “We’re going to California next year to rock it!” says Adam.