Infoscience

Journal article

Polarized Linear Motor Combined With Levitation Actuators Working in a Partial Vacuum Environment — Application to Swissmetro

Worldwide high speed Maglev (> 400km/h) developments refer to Maglev such as the Japanese JR-Maglev MLX, the German Transrapid and the USA Inductrack Maglev. Other world projects exist such as the Japan HSST (< 300km/h) and the China HTC. The JR-Maglev, the Transrapid and the HSST have reached industrial levels. The Swissmetro Project presents a unique aspect of Maglev: it is designed to work under partial vacuum (< 10kPa) in two tunnels and for high speeds (>400km/h). The authors investigate new possibilities to combine both the propulsion and the levitation. In order to minimize the heat due to the motor levitation and guidance losses, a polarized excitation is proposed. The use of permanent magnet NdFeB for the excitation is still not applied for high speed Maglev, requiring mechanical power greater than 6MW. Such a solution only appears in Urban Rapid Transit Maglev (<160km/h), such as the USA MagneMotion M3 and the General Atomic Urban Maglev. For Swissmetro, the authors study the polarized inductors for the levitation, implying a polarized synchronous linear motor. The polarization is obtained with permanent magnets NdFeB. This paper presents some key issues related to such technical choices. The motor design is described and the power balance is presented. The thermal behavior is analyzed using a numerical platform of the complete vehicle-tunnel system, based on computation of the air flow dynamic.

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