Topic Thread

  • 1.  Can Hyperloop Technology Benefit from Oil and Gas / Pipeline / Utility Experience?

    Posted 01-25-2021 03:53 PM
    A recent discussion with some fellow engineers on oil and gas technology got me thinking if there was a way that Hyperloop technology could benefit from the experience of the oil and gas / pipeline / utility industries.

    Hyperloop technology is essentially a magnet levitation train travelling inside of a pipe or tube that has been depressurized to allow the train to travel faster and use less energy, due to the lower aerodynamic forces.

    However, this technology is still in its infancy at this point, with only small distance testing being completed at this point. To reach its full potential, Hyperloop technology will need to demonstrate that its train can travel very long distances, while still being fast and safe.

    Ideally, miles of unoccupied pipe or tubes would not need to be depressurized to run a single train inside of it, but only the preceding segment of tube in front of the train and the section of tube with the train in it, would need to be depressurized briefly, and once the train has passed, the segment would no longer need to be depressurized. Kind of like motion sensor lights. They turn on when they detect movement, and then after the movement is no longer detected, the lights are turned off.

    I do not work in the oil and gas / pipeline / or utility industries, so my knowledge on the requirements to depressurize pipes is minimal. Please educate me.

    So for practitioners in these fields, do you see some knowledge cross over that could be beneficial to Hyperloop technology?
    Have their been examples of only depressurizing parts of pipes?
    Does storing pressurized air make sense? Is pressurized air dangerous to store?  Should pressurized air be released into the environment instead?

    I think this could be an interesting collaboration of where one industry can help another industry emerge.

    Doug Cantrell P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Durham NC

  • 2.  RE: Can Hyperloop Technology Benefit from Oil and Gas / Pipeline / Utility Experience?

    Posted 02-04-2021 02:05 PM

    I work in the oil and gas industry and in my experience there will be lots of similarities in most of activities a civil engineer will be involved in. foundation, sub structure, platforms, shelters, control rooms etc are all elements which we do use in oil and gas and are also used in infra projects.

    I have not yet heard of a parallel between depressurized tubes and the pipelines we have in oil and gas projects. The pipes we have here typically carry either crude or process fluid, gas or water. So the pipes are not de pressurized. Rather since their is involved some pumping from place to place the lines could very well be pressurized. 

    Pressurized gas is stored in LPG storage facilities and does pose limited risks.

    looking forward to se other  response

    Mandeep Singh Kohli CP, M.ASCE
    Senior Engineer

  • 3.  RE: Can Hyperloop Technology Benefit from Oil and Gas / Pipeline / Utility Experience?

    Posted 02-06-2021 09:32 AM

    I like this line of thinking but worry that the two systems might be so different that experience transfer may be marginal. An approach might be to systematically list the design and lifecycle issues – including risks to be mitigated – between pipelines used to transport liquids or gas hydrocarbons and people (Hyperloop) and look for areas  of applicable experience transfer. In both cases barrier  integrity is mission critical; however, in the case of Hyperloop the consequence of failure shifts from environmental damage to loss of life.  Furthermore, pipelines transporting hydrocarbons are relatively simple systems for the most part. This is not the case for a Hyperloop system. This issue just further accentuates the differences between the two systems including design, inspection, maintenance, and repair.

    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX

  • 4.  RE: Can Hyperloop Technology Benefit from Oil and Gas / Pipeline / Utility Experience?

    Posted 02-07-2021 09:26 AM
    Why not? The Panama Canal was built by a railway engineer. At the end of the day our job is to solve problems with the tools available to us.

    Brian Marshall P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil engineer
    Bardon QLD