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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 08:33, July 24, 2006
Permanent maglev line likely to be launched in Dalian
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The magnetically levitated train (or maglev train), as called "green transportation" is a breakthrough in the solution to urban traffic problems. Dalian's permanent magnetic levitation project team, a China's research organization of maglev train recently unveiled its fully self-own technology of magnetic engine, which the project team has spent many years in developing. China's first permanent magnet maglev line that runs along 3 kilometers has been put on the schedule of construction and will soon be launched into operation in the development zone of Dalian.

Nowadays, there are three types of magnetic levitation technology in the world, namely, superconducting electromagnetic levitation, normal-conducting electromagnetic levitation and permanent magnetic levitation. The first one is developed and possessed by Japan. The second is developed and owned by Germany. The third is independently developed by the Dalian permanent magnetic levitation project team, and is an innovation completely controlled by China. It is an entirely new technology.

The Dalian permanent magnetic levitation project team started to do research on permanent magnetic levitation in 1998. From 1998 to 2006, the project team made a number of breakthroughs and devised many innovative techniques. On August 7th 2003, a magnetically levitated vehicle made by the team for conveying park visitors was successful in the operation test, indicating that China has its own magnetic levitation technology. After that, the project team succeeded in solving 5 major technical issues. On December 26th 2004, they made a permanent maglev train that made satisfactory performances on a 70-meter long track during operation test.

Magnetic engine is the core technique of a maglev train. The magnetic engine inside a permanent maglev train is a decentralized power device developed by China on its own. This type of engine can help to cut costs dramatically and can reduce energy consumption by about 50 percent. The Dalian project team has managed to develop two types of magnetic engines, one with traction of 105 newtons and the other with traction of 15,000 newtons. The former, with a rated velocity of 140 kilometers per hour and a maximum velocity of 218 kilometers per hour, aims to be used in low-speed permanent maglev train. The latter, with a rated velocity of 268 kilometers per hour and a maxim velocity of 536 kilometers per hour, can be adopted in medium-speed passenger or cargo permanent maglev train.

According to Li Lingqun, a senior member of Dalian permanent magnetic levitation project team, the magnetic levitation technology of foreign countries face two bottleneck problems, namely enormous costs and week levitation force. With much more powerful levitation force, China's permanent maglev train costs 50 percent less than maglev trains developed by other countries.

Professor Yang Jianwu in Beijing University of Technology says, "It (permanent magnetic levitation technology) is a brand new drive technology for transportation and has great market potential. It is China's own magnetic levitation technology."

According to authoritative data, permanent maglev train has six following advantages. First, the train is energy-efficient and environment-friendly. It also has low energy consumption and produces little noise whilst running. Second, the permanent maglev train has high carrying capacity, which is equivalent to that of the current common train. Third, the train is very safe as it integrates carriages with railway and has a powerful control system. Accidents such as derailment and crashes will never happen to the permanent maglev train. Fourth, the total cost of construction of train and railway is much lower than the cost of any foreign counterpart. Fifth, the operation costs of permanent maglev trains are much lower than those of any other maglev trains in the world. It needs less money to run than the current common train. Sixth, this kind of maglev train is economical with land. The railway for this kind of train occupies less land than the expressway does.

By People's Daily Online