Zeleros: Simulating the Hyperloop
“The extensive use of simulations using Ansys software, including electromagnetics, mechanical, and fluid dynamic problems; has allowed Zeleros to develop a design solution to its concept in a faster and more economical way than relying only on experimental test validation.”
-Federico Lluesma, Dynamics Lead/Zeleros
Hyperloop is a new transport concept that consists of moving a levitating vehicle inside a sealed tube with a low-pressure environment so that air friction can be reduced allowing high-speed travel. By integrating the main technologies of aerodynamic propulsion and magnetic levitation of Zeleros in the vehicle, the needs of electrification of the infrastructure are reduced, which reduces costs and complexity, and facilitates maintenance. This system allows a solution for long-distance travel at 1000 km/h. In addition, the fully autonomous vehicle allows the use of a tubular infrastructure which reduces the cost of construction and maintenance compared to other high-speed land transportation systems. This new form of transportation combines the best performance of the aeronautical industry with the best performance of the railway industry and connects the world in a matter of minutes. This technology will revolutionize the transport sector, significantly reducing the time of travel which has an added value for transporting people and goods.
The ultimate goal of Zeleros is to be able to connect all the cities as if they belonged to a large metro network and achieve a more efficient, faster and sustainable method of transportation. But there is still a long way to go before they can reach that goal. The first litmus test of this adventure is to develop a test scale model with the aim of checking if the prototype is capable of reaching 500 km/h proving the viability of the technology. Although the road is long, Zeleros is not alone in its journey. The Spanish company has the support of leading companies in their respective industries. Interested in participating in the Zeleros project is the leading company in engineering simulation Ansys. Since its foundation, the Spanish company has relied on Ansys simulation to develop the most reliable prototype possible, in the fastest and most economical way.
Thanks to Ansys Maxwell for the electromagnetic simulations, Ansys Mechanical for Finite Element Analysis, and to Ansys Fluent for CFD solutions; Zeleros can analyze the mechanical and magnetic behavior of its active magnetic levitation system and the dynamic behavior of its aerodynamic propulsion system. Subsequently, with the Ansys Workbench platform, Zeleros can connect the different products and obtain multiphysics simulations that allow advanced knowledge of whether the different approaches applied during the design phase move in the right direction without needing all the costly elements that are required for real testing.
The benefits encountered during the simulation process are multiple. On the one hand, Ansys solutions allow Zeleros engineers to identify positive ideas and discard unsuccessful ideas in the preliminary design phase, which reduces time spent in the development phase. By simulating perfectly-sized components before building and testing them, Zeleros can uncover reasons for failure and prevent future failures from occurring. Hyperloop is the fifth means of transportation.
Zeleros’ hyperloop vehicles (pods) are designed with scalability and safety in mind. Zeleros’ hyperloop infrastructure seamlessly integrates with the environment reducing costs per kilometer and maintenance. They can obtain several reliable designs that are tested in the real world. This capability is essential in an industry where the materials are expensive, and the components are difficult to produce. Thanks to the simulation, Zeleros achieves its objectives faster and less expensively. It’s essential in a fast-moving industry that forces companies to be at the forefront of innovation. Zeleros is dealing with problems that not many have faced in this industry. There are only limited models or antecedents available. For this reason, they must use numerical simulation combined with real-life testing, which will undoubtedly be the key to achieving its objectives faster and more profitably.