Spanish port of Sagunto gets in the hyperloop game

The port of Sagunto, located near Valencia in Spain, is ready to launch a testing period for a hyperloop freight project. The Sustainable Electric Freight-forwarder (SELF) project, developed by the company Zeleros, “enables standard intermodal containers to be moved in a faster and sustainable way within ports with the linear motor as a backbone.” SELF will become fully functional and ready for testing by the end of 2022.

Linear motors are the key to the SELF project. According to developer Zeleros, they function like rotating but unfolding motors. “Powered by electricity and thanks to electromagnetic fields, a linear motor can move objects with high accuracy at any designed speed,” explains the company.

Port of Sagunto. Source: Zeleros

How it works

The SELF is all about green energy and speed. It will be solely powered by electricity and will be able to reach “ultra-high-speeds” but also adjust to lower speed depending on the operational needs and the cargo’s weight.

“Fully operational, the SELF platforms would allow decongesting loading and unloading areas in ports by efficiently moving containers between terminals or nearby storage areas automated and powered by electricity,” says Zeleros.

As for the needed infrastructure to launch the project, it will fully adapt to terminal technologies and facilities “operating together with other port handling machines such as straddle carriers, reach stackers or gantry cranes.”

Watch how SELF works:

Self-Booster pilot project

Zeleros has been testing this technology in lads for years now. However, with the project’s completion in a few months, the company will deploy it as a pilot at the port of Sagunto. The Self-Booster pilot project, as it is called, will consist of a test track that will automatically move through a fully electric linear motor vehicle from 0 up to 120 km/h and back to stop in 100 meters.

However, Zeleros is not alone in its mission since it bundles knowledge and expertise from various industrial experts, research institutions such as ACCIONA, ArcelorMittal and CIEMAT, and partners like Magneto. Finally, the project is supported by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology.

Ports get in the loop

The port of Sagunto is the latest addition in a series of ports trying to optimise their rail freight operations. For instance, a couple of months ago, Duisport entered into a p[artnership with Nevomo, a Poland-based rail technology company, to launch the MagRail system, a passive magnetic levitation train operating on existing railway tracks at speeds up to 550 kph. It is a hybrid solution allowing both the MagRail system and conventional trains to function on the same tracks.

Watch how MagRail works:

A year earlier, the port of Hamburg also announced a collaboration with the American company HyperlooTT to develop the HyperPort project. In simple words, HyperPort is meant to deploy the hyperloop technology to transport containers to and from the port, improve seaport-hinterland connections and increase the capacity and efficiency of terminals.

HyperPort will use high-speed capsules to transport containers between ports and inland destinations. Specifically, a transport capsule can accommodate two 20-foot or one 40- or 45-foot container per itinerary. Containers will be loaded vertically in the capsules using an opening on their top part. They will travel at the speed of hundreds of kilometres per hour, making it thus possible to transport up to 2,800 containers daily.

Watch how HyperPort works:

Also read:

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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