Maglev 2000 - Propulsion
Propulsion is provided using the same magnets that supply levitation in the linear synchronous motor (LSM), which is also a Danby/Powell invention. The guideway itself becomes, as it were, an unrolled winding of the motor. AC power is fed to a separate set of loops in the guideway to propel the vehicle, which moves along the guideway at a speed determined by the frequency of the applied electric current. Braking has a conserving regenerative effect that is, stopping the vehicle returns power into the electrical distribution system. Wind, drag or other forces do not affect the vehicle. In the LSM motor system, the spacing between individual vehicles is automatically maintained at a constant value, regardless of the variations in external forces on them.
Designing the maglev as a repulsive system provides inherent stability to the vehicles on the guideway. In this configuration the closer the vehicle magnets come to the guideway, the stronger the repulsion, or conversely, the smaller the gap, the less energy is required to maintain that gap. The MAGLEV 2000 technology makes use of null-flux stabilization loops (yet another Danby/Powell invention), which are characterized by extremely low energy consumption. This makes heavy vehicle loads possible, opening applications for transporting truck and containers.
Electrical power is fed from commercially available sources into the system at several places along the route. Power distribution can be achieved along a line that can be located within the guideway box structure. Simple solid state switches energize and de-energize block lengths of the system. This encourages energy conservation, since only blocks with vehicles in them are energized at any given time. There are no exposed electrical lines such as third-rail or catenaries used in metro systems, light rail and high speed trains.