Unitsky String Technologies
19 November 2016
Items to be tested at EcoTechnoPark
Our Company receives many questions from the project's partners concerning the industrial samples of SkyWay rolling stock and security module that will start running tests at EcoTechnoPark one of these days. We have already highlighted them several times, though never so detailed and close as we are going to do it now. Primarily, we are trying to meet the wishes of those people who were unable to visit Berlin or Minsk for studying the exposition personally. Do not be upset about it any more and consider this report as a virtual tour of our display stand through the interview with the Chief designer of rolling stock Department of SkyWay design organization Andrey Zaytsev recorded back in September at the trade fair in Berlin. It waited for its time since then. This interview will focus on one of the two presently ready innovative machines called the unibus in honor of its inventor Anatoly Yunitskiy.
Due to the use of a complex of innovative solutions and know-how, the unibus is more effective, safer and environmentally friendly by times, and sometimes tenfold, than any other known vehicle. For example, its patented aerodynamics is by 3-5 times better than that of sports cars, and the rolling resistance of the wheel along the rail is reduced twofold in comparison to the railway wheel pair; the 'second' level of arrangement and the anti-derailment system will reduce the accident rate by about 1,000 times in comparison, for example, to motor vehicles.
The unibus is designed for passenger transportation on urban and suburban routes. In the current configuration it has the passenger capacity of up to 14 people and the maximum speed of 150 km/h. The performance of the SkyWay transport system with such unibuses may reach 50,000 passengers/h, which is comparable to the performance of the Moscow metro.
The motion of the urban unibus is done by means of a traction electric drive. The electric motors of the traction drive are combined with wheels in a common unit - a motor-wheel that allows to exclude transmission components (reducing gearboxes) and to decrease the size, weight and cost of the drive, respectively. The interior of the unibus is equipped with systems of ventilation, conditioning, lighting, audio- and video-information for passengers. Onboard unibus control system is fully automated.
This vehicle can operate in various climatic conditions at outside storage. The average service life of the unibus is 25 years.
Translation of the video:
Mikhail Kirichenko: Good day! Here is Mikhail Kirichenko. You are watching SkyWay news, where we tell you about the developments and implementation of breakthrough transport technologies. We continue our reports from the trade fair InnoTrans 2016 in Berlin. Today we are speaking with the Chief designer of rolling stock Department at SkyWay Technologies Co. Andrey Zaytsev. Good morning, Andrey!
Andrey Zaytsev: Good morning! It is the third day at the trade fair, early morning. I hope we shall manage to tell something.
M.K.: Until the visitors come. Today it is the day of 'open doors' for everyone. Two days for experts have passed and we are waiting for a heavy inflow of visitors. We know for sure 300 people will attend our display stand tomorrow by prior agreement.
A.Z.: Let us start with a talk about the unibus. We are standing at its doors. What is a unibus? It is a vehicle for an urban transport system presented here as a monorail option. It is designed for riding along one of the rails at a track structure. Its capacity is 14 passengers at fully loaded weight of 3,250 kg.
M.K.: Some of our viewers express doubts that it will take 14 people.
A.Z.: We shall ask our first today's guests to help us to confirm it by a physical experiment and we shall dispel these doubts. We shall prove it is true.
M.K.: Many people don't like that there are only two seats here. I have already wrote in my comments that we can have even shelves here like in a train compartment. This is only one of dozens of options. Am I right?
A.Z.: It is only the first offered option. We shall see the feedback from our potential consumers and we are ready to improve or develop it.
M.K.: Or make it worse, if they want. People also ask about the innovativeness in this floor.
A.Z.: Before speaking about the floor, I would like to focus first on the general design.
M.K.: OK, we shall talk about the floor later.
A.Z.: The unibus is produced on the basis of a strong aluminum framework. Strong, but lightweight one as it is made of aluminum. The floor and the ceiling are added to the framework with vacuum forming. It means we have a monolithic sandwich panel at the top and at the bottom. It adds stiffness and the whole structure acquires sort of a double-T section, which is the most rigid compared to conventionally designed cross-sections.
M.K.: As I see, that is the innovativeness, but not only the grass that many people like.
A.Z.: Partially. The grass is only the first version of designing this particular first sample. We wanted to add something animated reminding people that there is also green grass under people's feet except asphalt roads.
M.K.: That is what we want to return to them.
A.Z.: I'd like also to add that our floor is heated. The sandwich I spoke about also contains heating elements. We warm up the framework of the vehicle in appropriate places and points at the bottom. And cold air is supplied from the top.
M.K.: I can add it is more pleasant to stand on such floor than to seat.
A.Z.: Let us try it. Since it is a poured-in-place, self-leveling floor. The surface is slippery, therefore it is additionally covered with a special varnish that makes the floor less slippery and more durable for rubbing. Next the windows go. We used here multiple glass units. It is not simple glass. This is polycarbonate, the substance two times lighter and 25 times stronger than the conventional silicate glass. A glass unit consists of two glasses to improve thermo-insulation of the body frame and to reduce expenses for heating or cooling the passenger compartment.
M.K.: So, this is not a plywood structure, but an innovation on an innovation. Not only on the floor.
A.Z.: Obviously. It is very strong. Even if you throw a brick on it, nothing will happen.
A.Z.: We have two seats here. Let's sit down and check if it is comfortable for two persons.
M.K.: Let's do it.
A.Z.: Now you can see that the body frame proportions are such that it is very high and at the same time very narrow. Is it comfortable?
M.K.: Good for me.
A.Z.: Why is it narrow? Because the largest losses at high speed are caused by aerodynamics, up to 90%. Therefore, one of the main tasks while designing was to obtain a good factor of aerodynamic resistance. The tests showed that Cx for this model is equal to 0.11. In comparison with sports cars it is minimum 3 times better.
M.K.: What kind of the audio system do we have here? It sounds very good. It will be easy to use it for our sound engineers. The sound is ready.
A.Z.: It is HiFi. I cannot disclose the producing company. Let's get back to the passenger capacity - 14 persons in one unibus. I want to focus on the performance of such vehicle. Here at InnoTrans we often hear questions about it, because InnoTrans displays mostly trains, trams and other large passenger vehicles. Many people do not understand so far, why this one is so small. It is unusual for them.
M.K.: Nevertheless, I remember discussions with Anatoly Yunitskiy. He said that if a line was organized completely in accordance with the SkyWay recommendations, its performance would be twice higher than in the Moscow metro.
A.Z.: Alright, let us calculate not to be baseless. By two or four times. On a transport line we have set a minimal time interval of safety, at which we will be able to control the whole system (motion, braking, etc.). This interval is 2 seconds that corresponds to the international standard on the movement of similar vehicles, i.e. riding in the automated duty. Two seconds.
M.K.: Does it mean that people will have to board or get off within 2 seconds?
A.Z.: Two seconds is the interval for vehicles riding on the route. The time to get off will be 5-10 seconds. However, the traffic logistics is selected in such a way that after leaving the station they catch up with one another and continue running at a 2-second interval. Based on these 2 seconds we reach transportation of 50,000 passengers per hour on one line only. Provided the line operates 20 hours per day, we get one-million passenger traffic per day. It is on one line only. Now let us compare it, for example, with the Moscow metro.
M.K.: At least I heard such comparison from Yunitskiy.
A.Z.: At first the figures seem to be not in our favor. We have a million and their statistics speaks about 6.6 million per day. However, it should be made clear that we take into account one line and they have 13 operating lines in the entire Moscow metro. If we divide their passenger traffic by 13, we get 500,000 passengers per day on one line. It means we are surpassing the Moscow metro twofold. If we take into account that the average travel of metro passengers is statistically 13 km, then it turns out the Moscow metro has not 13, but 25 operating lines on its total length. In this case, their performance is 250,000 passengers per day. Thus, we surpass its performance by 2 or 4 times. Certainly, it is on the limit, we can correct it.
M.K.: The question about 2 seconds was not because I am ignorant about it. I just repeat our viewers' questions and comments. Again about 2-second intervals. As I know, it is all ensured by an automated control system. And we have brought here this system, which we demonstrate on our 1:10 scale models. Could you show how it operates in reality, though in a smaller scale?
A.Z.: Let us see. Here we have a functioning model of the transport system of urban type. It has two samples of rolling stock - mounted and suspended designs. The difference is that one goes on the top, the second is suspended on the lower track structure. You asked about the control system. It is demonstrated here, too. These are not simply unibuses that ride by some program. If they see an obstacle ahead, they will stop. They control their operation themselves. This stand with models arouses not less interest at this exhibition than a full-scale sample. I'd like also to note the designing. Primarily, two anchor supports that accept the tension from pre-stressed strings. These are two terminal supports. The lower part is designed for connecting these supports, because we do not have ground surface for their installation. And the track structure. Let them ride for fun. I want to mention we have demonstrated also an intermediate support. What is this support? Anchor supports are heavy elements of the structure accepting hundreds of tons of stress from string stretching. Intermediate supports are lightweight additional ones installed at certain spans of 40-50 m along a route. They mostly accept lateral forces. They do not have great vertical loads and allow to stabilize the route horizontally. What will happen if we remove an intermediate support? Suppose we break it.
M.K.: We are simulating an earthquake. The intermediate support collapsed.
A.Z.: Nothing happens. Yes, our unibuses shook a little bit, but they will pass to the next smooth undamaged section of the route.
M.K.: So it didn't shake the reputation of the technology.
A.Z.: You may say so. As for this part of the track structure. Naturally, it is exhibited here in a simplified version with one string. It is a scaled model. We designed it at 1:10 scale.
M.K.: It is similar to a rail here.
A.Z.: Right. And we can see an example of a real rail with strings inside. We have intentionally fixed an element of a track structure in the unibus to explain people what a string track structure is. We see that steel ropes are arranged inside the beams functioning as rails. The steel ropes (strings) are pre-stressed with a certain force. They ensure absence of temperature joints on the track structure within the entire temperature range. Additionally, the hollow space inside the rail can be used to arrange communication lines. That means our track structure can also bear communication lines.
M.K.: For power supply and whatever else.
A.Z.: Optic fiber partially for communication and partially for checking the condition of our track structure, which is our know-how.
M.K.: Perhaps, a telephone line, Internet, etc.
A.Z.: Any data in digital and analogous forms. We can use part of the inner rail volume for communications. All the rest space is filled with concrete of special composition that adds stiffness to the track and reduces noise produced at motion. Noise appears naturally from any physical effect. I get back to the unibus and its features. Thanks to all these introduced innovations and ideas, the noise level in it is only 60 dB at motion.
M.K.: I think we should explain to our viewers that it is a very low level. What can be a comparison?
A.Z.: For example, a motorcycle has 90-92 dB, a bus has 82 dB and we have 60.
M.K.: As I remember, noise reduction by 10 dB is perceived by the ear as a reduction by several times. By 2 or 3 times and not simply by 10%.
A.Z.: This is a logarithmic scale.
M.K.: I am speaking about purely human perception.
A.Z.: To explain it simply, the noise level in a living room usually ranges from 45 to 50 dB.
M.K.: Well, this is a bit louder than in your apartment when you are staying there.
A.Z.: A bit quieter than your TV set when you are watching it.
M.K.: Clear. Thank you.
A.Z.: People begin to come. At the end I would like to specify the consumption of energy or fuel for a riding unibus. According to our claimed data, at the designed constant speed of 150 km/h a unibus will consume 21 kW/h of energy per 100 km. To make it clear, recalculated into combustible fuel by the generally accepted factor of 0.25 liter per 1 kW/h, we get 5.28 liter per 100 km distance.
M.K.: How can we compare it with other existing transport systems?
A.Z.: We can compare it with any other vehicle. For example, with a 14-passenger microbus. We also have the capacity of 14 passengers. Let's assume that a microbus managed to accelerate to 150 km/h.
M.K.: Hardly on any road.
A.Z.: Its fuel consumption will be 15 liters. And we have only 5.
A.Z.: In urban conditions, at lower speeds below 100, say, at 50 km/h the recalculated value for fuel is 1.25 liter per 100 km distance.
M.K.: Waiting for it with anticipation. And the last points before you start to work with the visitors. First, we request you to find time tomorrow and tell us about the unibike and the security module. And today let us add the story about the functioning models with the fact that they are not only models. They can be also a real transport means. I know the impressive figures that this "toy" can transport.
A.Z.: Yes. Really, the demonstrated model may be the smallest and compact operating transport system. The design we see now at the stand.
M.K.: It can transfer books in libraries, bulk cargo, ore and whatever. Our viewers can have any fantasy.
A.Z.: Any small goods. This track structure can carry additional 30 kg of loads onboard of each single module of this small rolling stock. Let us calculate. Suppose they ride at 1-second interval (they are compact, can accelerate and brake faster than the unibus). It will be 30 mln unibuses per year. Each of them will have 30 kg onboard.
M.K.: It is 1 mln ton.
A.Z.: Almost. It will be above 900,000 ton. By this small transport system.
M.K.: We are really born to build reality from a fairy tale.
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