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Magnetic levitation Levitation principle Lateral guidance Maglev track EDS-EMS Linear electric motor LIM in levitation Characteristics of LIM Benefits Current projects conclusion


Maglev, or magnetic levitation, is a system of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles, predominantly trains, using magnetic levitation. Trends in increased mobility of large masses with changing lifestyle for more comfort are leading to congestion on roads with automobiles. Besides, increasing pollution levels from automobiles, depleting fuel resources, critical dependence on the fuel import . The highest recorded speed of a Maglev train is 581 kilometers per hour (361 mph), achieved in Japan. Development of magnetic levitated transport systems is under progress in developed countries.





The need for fast and reliable transportation is increasing throughout the world. High-speed rail has been the solution for many countries. Trains are fast, comfortable, and energy-efficient. Maglev research and development began in Germany and Japan during the early 1970's. After laboratory tests in both countries, a test track was constructed in Japan during the mid-1970's and in Germany during the mid-1980's


Maglev tech is a relatively new transportation tech in which non contacting vehicles travel safely at speeds of 250 to 300mph or higher. The forces acting on an object in any combination of gravitational, electrostatic, and magneto static fields will make the object's position unstable. It is possible to levitate superconductors and other diamagnetic materials, which magnetize in the opposite sense to a magnetic field in which they are placed. As Superconductors are perfect diamagnets and when placed in an external magnetic field expel the field lines from their interiors




Imagine that two bar magnets are suspended one above the other with like poles directly above and below each other. Any effort to bring these two magnets into contact with each other will have to overcome the force of repulsion that exists between two like magnetic poles.

The repulsion of superconducting magnets and electromagnets in the track keeps a maglev train suspended above the track. By varying the strength and polarity of the track electromagnets, the train can be

Lateral Guidance
When one side of the train nears the side of the guide way, the super conducting magnet on the train induces a repulsive force from the levitation coils on the side closer to the train and an attractive force from the coils on the farther side. This keeps the train in the center.


The magnetized coil running along the track, called a guideway, repels the large magnets on the train's undercarriage, allowing the train to levitate between 0.39 and 3.93 inches (1 to 10 cm) above the guideway. power is supplied to the coils within the guideway walls to create a unique system of magnetic fields that pull and push the train along the guideway.

Levitation is the process by which an object is suspended against gravity in a stable position. First thing a maglev system must do is get off the ground, and then stay suspended off the ground.

Electromagnetic Suspension
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In the EMS-attractive system, the electromagnets which do the work of levitation are attached on the top side of a casing that extends below and then curves back up to the rail that is in the center of the track. The gap between the bottom of the vehicle and the rail is only 3/8"

Electrodynamic Suspension
In the EDS-repulsive system, the superconducting magnets (SCMs), which do the levitating of the vehicle, are at the bottom of the vehicle, but above the track. The magnetic field of the superconducting magnets aboard the maglev vehicle induces an eddy current in the guideway.

Choice of linear induction motor A linear electric motor (LEM) is a
mechanism which converts electrical energy directly into linear motion without employing any intervening rotary components. Linear Induction Motor (LIM) is basically a rotating squirrel cage induction motor opened out flat. Instead of producing rotary torque from a cylindrical machine it produces linear force from a flat one.

Linear Synchronous Motor
LSM generate propulsive force by running current through a stator, which creates an electro-magnetic field. This electro-magnetic field interacts with a set of permanent magnets on a vehicle to create thrust.

The permanent magnets serve as the motor secondary, equivalent to a rotor in conventional motors enabling linear motion. The vehicle is propelled by the moving electromagnetic field, traveling along as electric current is applied to the stator beneath the vehicle. The vehicle’s movement is regulated by a sophisticated control system incorporating stateof-the-art position sensing technology.

Synchronous vs Induction motors
Far more effort has been put into research and development of linear induction motors (LIM's) than LSM's. LIM's do indeed have two distinct advantages. First of all, they are simpler and less costly to construct. The stationary element of the motor consists of nothing more than a rail or plate of a conducting material, such as aluminum. By contrast, LSM's require the installation of alternating north and south magnetic poles on both moving and stationary elements.

Linear induction motor (LIM) in magnetic levitation
The High Speed Surface Transport (HSST) system is propelled by linear induction motor. The HSST levitation system uses ordinary electromagnets that exerts an attractive force and levitate the vehicle.

The electromagnets are attached to the car, but are positioned facing the under side of the guide way's steel rails. They provide an attractive force from brlow,levitating the car.

Characteristics of LIM
In most vehicular propulsion systems, provision must be made for increasing the power when the demand increases. Whenever more power is needed, the moving magnet begins to lag further behind the stationary one; this results in an immediate increase in thrust. No separate control is needed

Benefits of Magnetic Levitated Transportation system
Power of the maglev motor is dependent on the local conditions. Maglev uses 30% less energy than a high-speed train traveling at the same speed. Operating costs of a maglev system are approximately half that of conventional long-distance railroads. Maglev is about 20 times safer than airplanes, 250 times safer than conventional railroads, and 700 times safer than automobile travel. Despite the speeds up to 500 km/hour, passengers can move about freely in the vehicles Materials used to construct maglev vehicles are non-combustible, poor transmitters of heat, and able to withstand fire penetration. Carries no fuel to increase fire hazard

The train makes little noise because it does not touch the track and it has no motor. Therefore, all noise comes from moving air. This sound is equivalent to the noise produced by city traffic. Magnetic Field The magnetic field created is low, therefore there are no adverse effects.

Noise Pollution

Germany and Japan have been the pioneering countries in MagLev research. Currently operational systems include Transrapid (Germany) and High Speed Surface Transport (Japan). There are several other projects under scrutiny such as the SwissMetro, Seraphim and Inductrack. All have to do with personal rapid transit. NASA plans to use magnetic levitation for launching of space vehicles into low earth orbit.Boeing is pursuing research in MagLev to provide a Hypersonic Ground Test Facility for the Air Force. The mining industry will also benefit from MagLev. There are probably many more undiscovered applications!

The Maglev Train: Research on this ‘dream train’ has been going on for the last 30 odd years in various parts of the world. The chief advantages of this type of train are: Non-contact and non-wearing propulsion, independent of friction, no mechanical components like wheel, axle. Maintenance costs decrease. Low noise emission and vibrations at all speeds.

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