The use of Electricity and Magnetism in our Future Transportation
Magnetism and electricity are major topics in physics as a discipline. Electricity is normally used to supply power to computers as well as to driving motors. Magnetism also has uses like making compass point north as well as keeping notes stuck on surfaces like refrigerators. Lack of electromagnetic radiation could lead to total darkness, as light is part of its various forms. The reliance on electricity by the societies is very obvious but it is also easy for people to forget how reliant they truly are on electricity. Electricity takes a huge part in contemporary society in an extent that, people fails to even think about it. People tend to profit from all the electrical devices at home and office, all the devices they use to communicate, all heating and lighting machines and various means of transportation that utilize electricity. However, they would have not enjoyed all these things if there were no access to electricity. Electricity and magnetism serve a big role in people’s daily life and are going to revolutionize the future particularly on matters relating to transportation (Høyer, 2008).
The major objective of future transportation system will be to trim down emissions and the number of people in personal cars. The main concern is the exploitation of the fossil fuels, and the harmful gasses that are discharged during the burning of these fuels in cars. Researchers have endeavored to come up with plans relating to how people can trim down the carbon footprints caused by these things. The energy specialists and historians have the same opinion that as societies develop, they require more rigorous, intense types of energy, such as rocket fuel rather than gasoline (Høyer, 2008).Transport systems will be pollution-free and adaptable of the numerous converging developments for getting around. For instance, ultracapacitors are being created to be used in electric cars so they can be complete replacement for batteries. These capacitors have are lighter and they have an energy density that is ten times that of lead-acid batteries (Høyer, 2008). Another astounding development in the future energy sector is the permanent magnetic-driven motors, which are an up-coming trend about to enter into market. Several developments, like the Spiral Wankel Motor and other various designs, all validate the application of the “magnetic gradient” in the similar manner an electrical voltage is currently accessed (Høyer, 2008).
Traffic jam has been a predicament on major highways all over the world for many years. Nonetheless, a solution to this predicament could be on the horizon. One possible application of electromagnetic knowledge involves a type of transportation that could seem to be old news at first look. This mode of transport is called magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) trains which are as far detached from the previous steam engines as the space shuttle is far detached from the Wright brothers’ experimental aircraft (Liu, Long & Li, 2015).
As it is well known, magnetic poles of like direction, that is, north-north or south-south repel each other in a way that, one magnet can be kept hanged in the air on top of another magnet. However, these results cannot be produced while using simple bar magnets, since their magnetic strength is too small. This can be achieved by an electromagnet, which can generate a magnetic field large enough that, if used appropriately, it wields adequate repulsive force able to lift very heavy objects. Generally, if train tracks could be activated with a well-built electromagnetic field, it could be possible to “levitate” the whole train (Liu, et al., 2015). Consecutively this would formulate a type of transportation that could transport large amount of people in relative comfort, thus lessening the ecological effect of automobiles, and attain this at much greater speeds than a vehicle could safely achieve.
Actually, the plan to produce a MAGLEV trains is traced back to an era when trains held total domination over automobiles as a mean of transportation. The Maglev structure is made possible by the application of electromagnet fields (Liu, et al., 2015). The fundamental principle supporting Maglev is that, the train magnets are either attracted or repelled by its pathway, referred to as guideway, which causes it to levitate. Maglev also utilizes magnetic impulsion to speed up and slow down the train. This type of train is capable of reaching speeds of about 300 mph, which is half the velocity of a commercial jet (Liu, et al., 2015). MAGLEV is subdivided into two major forms of suspension, namely the Electromagnetic and Electro-dynamic Suspension. A third form of levitation, referred to as Inductrack, is also being worked on in America (Liu, et al., 2015). A magnetic force pushes the train using a negligible quantity of energy compared to electric/diesel-powered trains. A planned maglev train will move passengers more than 200 miles between Nagoya and Tokyo for just 40 minutes, helping to release crammed roads, lessen air pollution, and trim down accidents. However, the main problem with maglev trains is the increased cost of establishment. Also due to their high velocity, they have to be routed in a straight line from one destination to the next.
In the next century, people are still expected to possess more private cars. However, most of the transportation problems could be avoided by using those cars in two different modes. These vehicles may be either standard or specialized, as it will depend with the features of the system. These cars will be driven in the ordinary approach on the streets, but they will travel robotically on high-speed designated guideways (Gieras, Piech, & Tomczuk, 2011). A journey that exceeds certain distance will be travelled using these guideways instead of the normal highways. A dual-mode method will be even more private than Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), given that people will be using their own cars. This will also be swifter, than PRT because people will not have to trek to and from boarding stations. People may be travelling from one place to another without getting out of their vehicles, but they will travel safer, quicker, economically, with no stress, and without polluting the environment. An Automated Highway System would similarly incorporate both manual and automatic cars, but the phrase dual-mode has come to indicate a system that integrates automatic guideways with artificial intelligence found in the guideway system rather than inserting it in the vehicles.
Various analyses confirm that there are basic reasons that will compel producers and consumers to electric vehicles in the coming years. First, electric cars are naturally more efficient at converting energy into the distance driven. Many people are not aware of the fact that electric trains are to a great extent more efficient when compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) trains (Gieras, et al., 2011). In fact, it is very unlikely that ICE trains will ever challenge electric trains in terms of effectiveness. Some of the reasons why ICE trains are so ineffective include heat and inertial losses of different types. In addition, ICE’s are thermodynamic structures with efficiencies restricted by the heat cycle they function under. Engineers have carried out a wonderful work in enhancing the effectiveness of gas-powered vehicles, but they are faced with fundamental limits. On the contrary, an electric car can go for approximately 40 miles on 11 Kilowatt-hours (KWH) of electricity, which is comparable to a third of a petrol gallon (Gieras, et al., 2011). In addition, given that the general average rate per KWH for electricity is just $0.11, this performance translates price wise into the equivalent of over 120 miles for each gallon.
Electric vehicles can said to be more environmental friendly than gasoline cars. Research has revealed that nearly all of a car’s carbon production occurs during operation but not production. Therefore, since electric vehicles use only a third of energy in operation, they are essentially greener regardless of what energy is used to produce the electricity they utilize. Moreover, electric vehicles driven by electricity that is generated from water, sun, or nuclear sources generate no carbon during operation (Gieras, et al., 2011). Electric vehicles are the future of transport system since they can be driven by electricity generated from several energy sources including wind, solar, water, nuclear, bio-fuel sources as well as natural gas and coal. Therefore, electric vehicles have the capability of supporting the world economy and lessen people’s reliance on imported oil.
Another reason that will make Electric cars the future transportation mode is that, a country like US for example has a well-organized electricity distribution network in place. The next generation technologies, like fuel cell cars, will need electric trains to push the vehicles. Fuel cells could be efficient, transferable electricity sources running on an array of fuels, but every vehicle using these sources will make use of electric driven trains. There are recent cell technologies that consume natural gas as the energy to generate electricity, but in a chemical reaction as opposed to combustion reaction. These highly developed fuel cells generate sequesterable Carbon that can be buried instead of being released into the air (Van Vliet, Brouwer, Kuramochi, van Den Broek & Faaij, 2011). Therefore, in the future, electric trains will most likely control any energy source and there is simply no other method to get this sort of efficiency advantage from an ICE train.
Another future mode of transport is Hyperloop, which is a conceptual speedy transportation method incorporating condensed-pressure tubes whereby pressurized tablets ride on an air cushion compelled by linear motors (Van Vliet, et al., 2011). Critics of this mode of transportation view the experience as probably unpleasant and terrifying because of riding in a constricted and windowless capsule inside a closed steel channel that is subjected to considerable hastening forces and elevated noise levels as a result of air that is being compressed. Although the tube can be said to be primarily even, ground shifting because of current seismic reaction would unavoidably cause distortion.
Public transport arrangements present a lot of advantages when compared to individual alternatives when it comes to transporting huge numbers of people from point A to point B with less congestion, less contamination and lesser costs. However, despite the fact that there is much impetus on the private transport, fresh ideas for the future of public transport do not appear to enjoy equal level of publicity (Van Vliet, et al., 2011). This is regardless of the fact that various cities around the globe are still burdened with public transport that has been in position for more than a century. However, there are various fundamental plans in progress, and the next century will certainly bring with it a raft of individuals moving developments that redefine the concept of public transportation. Providing secure and dependable infrastructure with ability to handle demand will indisputably remain a key government task, even if the forms for how to fund and build it change. Still, the most stimulating thing about this specific moment is that the opportunities are unlimited for both the private and public stakeholders to make human movement cleaner, more efficient and secure, and more gratifying. Finding a way into this new period may require some extra effort, but there is no question that it is something that is about to happen.
Gieras, J. F., Piech, Z. J., & Tomczuk, B. (2011). Linear synchronous motors: transportation and automation systems. CRC press.
Høyer, K. G. (2008). The history of alternative fuels in transportation: The case of electric and hybrid cars. Utilities Policy, 16(2), 63-71.
Liu, Z., Long, Z., & Li, X. (2015). Maglev Train Overview. In Maglev Trains (pp. 1-28). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Van Vliet, O., Brouwer, A. S., Kuramochi, T., van Den Broek, M., & Faaij, A. (2011). Energy use, cost and CO 2 emissions of electric cars. Journal of Power Sources, 196(4), 2298-2310.