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Article

Mitigating the Piston Effect in High-Speed Hyperloop Transportation: A Study on the Use of Aerofoils

Mechanical Engineering Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2021, 14(2), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020464
Received: 19 December 2020 / Revised: 9 January 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2021 / Published: 16 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyperloop and Associated Technologies)
The Hyperloop is a concept for the high-speed ground transportation of passengers traveling in pods at transonic speeds in a partially evacuated tube. It consists of a low-pressure tube with capsules traveling at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. When a high-speed system travels through a low-pressure tube with a constrained diameter such as in the case of the Hyperloop, it becomes an aerodynamically challenging problem. Airflow tends to get choked at the constrained areas around the pod, creating a high-pressure region at the front of the pod, a phenomenon referred to as the “piston effect.” Papers exploring potential solutions for the piston effect are scarce. In this study, using the Reynolds-Average Navier–Stokes (RANS) technique for three-dimensional computational analysis, the aerodynamic performance of a Hyperloop pod inside a vacuum tube is studied. Further, aerofoil-shaped fins are added to the aeroshell as a potential way to mitigate the piston effect. The results show that the addition of fins helps in reducing the drag and eddy currents while providing a positive lift to the pod. Further, these fins are found to be effective in reducing the pressure build-up at the front of the pod. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerodynamic design; Hyperloop; optimization of airflow; plunger effect aerodynamic design; Hyperloop; optimization of airflow; plunger effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bose, A.; Viswanathan, V.K. Mitigating the Piston Effect in High-Speed Hyperloop Transportation: A Study on the Use of Aerofoils. Energies 2021, 14, 464. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020464

AMA Style

Bose A, Viswanathan VK. Mitigating the Piston Effect in High-Speed Hyperloop Transportation: A Study on the Use of Aerofoils. Energies. 2021; 14(2):464. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020464

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bose, Aditya, and Vimal K. Viswanathan 2021. "Mitigating the Piston Effect in High-Speed Hyperloop Transportation: A Study on the Use of Aerofoils" Energies 14, no. 2: 464. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020464

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