Sunday, January 18, 2009
I want to start by noting the obvious difference between the designs I have shown and those of the other two hanging pod designs I am aware of, Beamways and MISTER. Neither has the vertical connecting beam I have illustrated. Besides the obvious advantages of having the track being high and out of reach, the connecting beam has one other advantage.
I have long wondered if PRT vehicles, (OK, Podcars), would need a transmission of some sort. Clearly the advantages that have led to their universal adoption in automobiles would seem to apply here as well, although I am led to understand that electric motors are a bit more forgiving in this regard. Anyway, my concern was about the on-board power needed for steep ascent, and my thoughts went to roller coaster design, where the cars are pulled up the track by a means outside of the vehicle, so there is no need to carry around a heavy motor.
I have taken a design philosophy that is consistent with open-source by seeking to not foreclose options that someone else might find useful, and the roller coaster method seems to have enough merit to at least keep as a possibility, Then the question becomes, “how steep?” Obviously straight up is as steep as possible, so my attitude is “why not?”
One problem that our societies must someday face is our land usage footprint. The future is UP!
Since vertical ascension, however, is not part of any immediate plan, I will not explore the matter further, other to say it’s not challenging, engineering-wise. Now you know another reason for the “beam”. This design also has some comfort (g-force) advantages, and possible collision safety advantages. One challenge, however, is with how to deal with loads that are highly unbalanced, front to back. Inventors, engineers,.. we need you!
By the way, that brings up one obvious problem with this site and format. You can’t post pictures. For the time being, if you have a pic that you think would help out the cause, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if it’s worthy, I’ll make a post out of it. Meanwhile, I would be interested in suggestions on how to get a past this problem for good. Wiki? Forum? Tell me what you think!