Tech & Gadgets

PROMISING | Gov’t keen on ‘maglev’ train tech developed by Davao inventor

Inventor Jose Guardo (rightmost) shows an animation of his hybrid monorail maglev train system to DOST officials during the opening of the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits in NCCC Mall, Matina, Davao City Inventor Jose Guardo (rightmost) shows an animation of his hybrid monorail maglev train system to DOST officials during the opening of the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits in NCCC Mall, Matina, Davao City
Inventor Jose Guardo (rightmost) shows an animation of his hybrid monorail maglev train system to DOST officials during the opening of the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits in NCCC Mall, Matina, Davao City
Inventor Jose Guardo (rightmost) shows an animation of his hybrid monorail maglev train system to DOST officials during the opening of the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits in NCCC Mall, Matina, Davao City

An inventor based in Matina, Davao City has developed a monorail system using magnetic levitation or maglev technology, which he hopes the government can tap to solve the country’s traffic woes.

Davao-based inventor Jose L. Guardo Jr. demonstrated his own version of maglev technology during the recently concluded 2015 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE) at the NCCC Mall in Matina, Davao City.

Maglev technology is an efficient mass transport system that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground. It travels along a guideway similar to the Department of Science and Technology’s Automated Guideway Transit in UP-Diliman and in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Guardo’s patented maglev technology is an elevated ultra-lightweight, mid- to high-speed hybrid monorail that uses dynamic hybrid magnetic array rotary propulsion wheel system, which, according to him, is ideal in transporting commuters from the urban and provincial route.

This means that at the bottom of the coach are components with a mix of electromagnets and neodymium iron boron, a rare earth magnetic material. These magnets are designed to create repulsions from the lower part that enables the train to levitate and propel the coach.

The train is also capable of making sharp curves of up to 15 meters. It has a track width of about 1.8 meters x 2.5 meters, which may still give the public the needed view of the Manila skyline. It can run as fast as 200 kilometers per hour and can slow down a bit for shorter runs.

According to Guardo’s manuscript, the development of the maglev is cheaper as it will use aluminum as guideways. It will also use regenerative energy that returns energy to an inverter when the motor decelerates. Solar panels shall be installed on the terminal rooftops.

The maglev technology was a product of 15 years of research and development. According to Guardo, he was fascinated with magnets in his younger years which boosted his interest on levitating cars as seen in some sci-fi movies of his youth.

His previous attempt at magnetic levitation was done through an elevator system, which he called Multi Car Cyclic Magnetic Elevator. In 2005, he invented the hybrid maglev monorail together with Domingo Peñaloza while the two were in Shanghai, China.

The DOST, through the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI), has expressed willingness to support the further development of Guardo’s train technology.

During a press conference, DOST Region 11 director Anthony Sales and TAPI director Edgar Garcia gave their commitment in further developing the maglev train system into a working prototype.

Sales said that a one-kilometer track requirement suggested by the maglev proponent will be installed in the DOST property in BagoOshero to further develop and test the reliability of the invention.

Aristotle Carandang of the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute, said the development of the maglev technology will now be easier as the DOST already has the capability and the facilities to develop rapid prototyping of the components needed.

The science agency currently has a program called MakiBAYAN or Makina at Teknolohiya Para sa Bayan under the Metals Institute Research and Development Center.

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