MagneTruck™

MagneTruck™ is a proposed concept that would utilize linear synchronous motors (LSMs) embedded in road surfaces to move road vehicles along within specially designed traffic lanes.  As indicated by its name and the illustration above, MagneTruck™ can be particularly beneficial for moving large trucks, as electrifying these heavy-duty vehicles would result in large reductions in petroleum consumption and toxic diesel emissions.  As in our passive maglev technology, MagneTruck™ vehicles would use permanent magnets to react against the moving magnetic field generated by the LSM.  However, MagneTruck™ may offer greater flexibility and lead to a broader range of applications by enabling “dual mode” operations combining LSM technology with other forms of propulsion.  For example:

  • Diesel trucks retrofitted with permanent magnets could use their diesel engines on conventional roadways, then switch to electric operation using their magnets when operating on segments of road where LSMs are installed.
  • Battery-electric trucks could use onboard batteries and electric drive motors on conventional roads, then switch to LSM-magnet propulsion on LSM-powered roads.

In the latter application, the LSM could also recharge the truck’s electric batteries while moving the vehicle.  This could greatly reduce the number of batteries required to achieve a given operating range, accelerating the adoption of battery-electric vehicles.

GA is a leader in developing and manufacturing high-power linear motors for military and civil applications, and has demonstrated the essential feasibility of accelerating ground vehicles with linear motors of the type that would be used with MagneTruck™.

Features

 

Linear Synchronous Motor

  • Embedded in standard-size concrete blocks at factory.
  • Modules installed into roadway and connected together.
  • Generates moving magnetic field that can be regulated to control vehicle acceleration and speed.

 

Vehicle

  • Retractable magnet array under chassis reacts against linear motor in roadway.
  • With “dual-mode” operation, vehicle can use diesel engine or onboard electric power while on conventional roads.
  • Electric vehicle batteries can be recharged while on LSM-powered road segments.

 

Applications

  • Port container drayage
  • Truck operations at border crossings
  • Streetcars for passenger movement

Technology

 

  • Wheeled linear motor technology well proven – used in public passenger transportation systems for over 20 years.

  • Linear motor-driven vehicles currently operate at numerous locations, including New York’s JFK Airport, Detroit, Vancouver, Toronto, and Kuala Lumpur.

  • These systems all rely on linear induction or linear synchronous motors located on the vehicles.  The linear motors generate magnetic forces that react against conducting plates (typically aluminum) mounted between the rails, propelling the vehicles forward.

  • MagneTruck is essentially a “reverse” variant of this technology, where the linear motors are integrated into the road surface instead of the vehicles.  This simplifies vehicle design and can reduce life-cycle operating costs.

Reports

September 22-25, 2002. Joseph M. Englot and Paul T. Bakas,
"Performance/Design Criteria for the Airtrain JFK Guideway," AREMA 2002
Annual Conference and Exposition, Washington, DC.