Hyperloop-elpipe hybridization

I commented in an email on the hyperloop concept, then I learned there is a blogsite about hyperloop, so I reposted the below email, with a header, at that website:
(still awaiting moderation)

here is my original email; the four attached documents have been linked within the text, which is slightly modified, below:

From: Roger Faulkner <roger@elpipe.com>
To: hyperloop@spacex.com; hyperloop@teslamotors.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:11 AM
Subject: Thanks for your excellent transportation concept & some refinement suggestions

in re:
>Feedback would be most welcome – <snip>. I would like to thank my excellent compadres at both companies for their help in putting this together...Elon Musk

Elon & team:
I congratulate you for thinking big. It is amazing to me that we are still building roads, RR, and electrical transmission lines by field fabrication, rather than by using appropriate automated fabrication methods (as you have proposed). I have heard loud criticism to the effect that your economics must be way off, based on comparing costs to existing methods...what nonsense! 

I am a polymer scientist/chemical engineer by training, and I can see that your concept is indeed workable. I have been trying to figure out how to move the conversation along on another big and synergistic problem where we are stuck in the past: power transmission. In fact, I see the possibility of achieving even better economics for the hyperloop by also arranging for the conduit you need to construct for the train to carry HVDC power, in the form of a pair of elpipes (my invention, described briefly below, and in the attached documents). I suggested elpipes following ordinary roads and railroads , but the rapid deployment potential for hyperloops makes them an exciting technology to consider for hybridization.

We NEED a supergrid (continental scale transmission grid) to enable renewable energy to be the basis of our economy (because the aggregated reliability of wind + solar is much higher than the local reliability). One still needs energy storage in a supergrid, but much less is needed if there are well-sited generators in 3-5 weather zones. An ongoing study by NOAA will show that a supergrid is highly cost effective for the US, but all the "transmission insiders" would pooh-pooh the chance that a  supergrid could be completed in a decade. If one adds the benefits of hyperloop vehicles with building the supergrid it adds up to a real economic revolution that would put the brakes on GHG emissions faster than anything else.

Elpipes are high capacity electric power lines in which the conductors are relatively rigid pipe-shaped segments. The lowest cost solution is sodium inside a steel pipe; as an example, a 24-inch steel pipe filled with solid sodium at 85 degrees C, achieves low enough resistance to carry 62.5 GW with 1% loss per 1000 km. The attached recent article for Arab Construction World shows that conductor cost for this solution is only $2.2 per meter for the conductor only, if sodium is used (the steel pipe to hold the sodium costs more than the conductor in this case). Aluminum is ~5 times more, but doesn't need the steel pipe. Copper may be used in the junctions, but would comprise <5% of the conductor. Elpipes can achieve lower cost/MW-km than any other method.

Unlike superconductors, elpipes are not complex. Up to ~30 GW, elpipes can shed their waste heat passively. It helps greatly of they are not buried, as would be the case if elpipes ran bellow or above your hyperloop system. Combining the elpipes and hyperloops is a powerful idea.

Roger Faulkner, President & Founder
Ballistic Breaker Corporation (www.ballisticbreaker.com)
Electric Pipeline Corporation (www.elpipe.com)

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