Thursday, 1 March 2012
Maglev (derived from magnetic levitation), is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles from magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as wheels, axles and bearings. Maglev transport is a means of flying a vehicle or object along a guideway by using magnets to create both lift and thrust, only a few inches above the guideway surface. High-speed maglev vehicles are lifted off their guideway and thus are claimed to move more smoothly and quietly and require less maintenance than wheeled mass transit systems – regardless of speed. It is claimed that non-reliance on friction also means that acceleration and deceleration can far surpass that of existing forms of transport. The power needed for levitation is not a particularly large percentage of the overall energy consumption; most of the power used is needed to overcome air resistance (drag), as with any other high-speed form of transport.