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Elon's Tunnel

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by Cosmacelf, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. lunitiks

    lunitiks Cool James & Black Teacher

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    A post digger? So what does it do post digging?
     
  2. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #22 Ulmo, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
    Post hole digger.

    Hole for a post.

    After digging the post hole, they shove a post in the hole.

    I'm guessing these posts are to hold up the ditch walls. They already had a run with such further back.

    All the SpaceX employees I spoke to walking around there said they hoped it was a pedestrian tunnel, because someone had been hit and run over while crossing that street recently.

    My assumption about tunnel vs overpass would be overpass is easier, from third story of parking garage over to the SpaceX side.

    A tunnel would run into underground utilities, except alongside that canal going toward that parking structure because it wouldn't make sense to have any utilities there. Once such tunnel gets under the parking structure (which I assume would need reinforcement), it could contiue going deeper, until it's under all utilities. It could then turn while under the parking structure to travel under the railways and/or the canals, for easier permitting. I think Trump may have a hand in some permitting jurisdictions at that point. It may be much easier. Also, those are fairly straight and level structures that go useful places using their own already existing networks.

    Most of the construction workers at that site the night before wore Tesla coats in the cold. They are probably working for an Elon associated company, I'm guessing.

    No one else with info?
     
  3. jdevo2004

    jdevo2004 Member

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    Drilling a hole can not be done any faster than modern oil drilling rigs. Oil drilling rigs drill much much faster than boring machines however if one were to use oil drilling technology and scale it up to a boring machine size you might be able to get some serious speed out of it.

    What would Elons Oil rig style boring machine entail? Massive amounts of high pressure mud pumping, huge drill bits, and rotation speeds up to 100 rpm. The machine would first drill a relatively small hole and then progressively use larger drill bits to widen the hole and then push a very large metal casing into the newly formed bore. Oil rigs routinely drill holes up to 36" wide, I would assume a walking tunnel would need around a 10 foot diameter. Seems doable.
     
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  4. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I agree, seems doable. He can hire a bunch of boring oil mining engineers, if he likes. Instead, he wants to reinvent the wheel himself by tinkering. If I had extra money if I were him, I'd get three competing teams: one doing what he's already doing, another made up of oil mining boring engineers, and another starting fresh.

    I'm concerned that the collateral damage considerations are different for ocean beds versus urban plots. A super efficient boring machine could expect a certain amount of earthly reorganization, and that could be bad in an urban environment. Engineers would have to do rigorous soil samples, figure out minimum depths and practices to avoid damage to overhead structures, and then whatever necessary reinforcement placed in while the boring machine was proceeding. I could conceive of a sleeve chasing the boring machine to hold up all newly dug material, and behind the sleeve, a permanent structure laid in, with whatever molding forms it would need to let it cure. If cement based materials (such as concrete) were used, I would have to wander over to another problem:

    If using concrete, is Elon Musk considering enhancing the cement making industry to be clean? There's enough sunlight to heat up a cement kiln, but it has a serious consistency deficit. Augmenting sunlight energy with other high heat clean energies would be necessary. What could sunlight be converted into for use during darker times that could heat up a cement kiln? One idea I had was making (I know, gasp) hydrogen, and burning that in the kiln. Is making cement from sun heat and hydrogen still toxic to our environment considering the chemical conversions going on during the entire manufacture? A huge amount of concrete would be used in building this new tunnel system, and so far, the only viable energy sources for cement factories have been coal, and a lot of it, with exception of I think one cement factory in the world that uses oil derivatives (usually considered too expensive).

    Even better, a superior material to concrete could be used. Have they figured out a way to create carbon fiber inexpensively enough and cleanly enough not to pollute the world during its manufacture? Or, is quartz glass such a wonder material? We know Musk's companies already use a variety of exciting composites; perhaps some material (any kind -- exciting or not, composite or not) is inexpensive, strong and clean enough to use to hold the tunnel in shape.

    Ambitious and fun!
     
  5. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    Perhaps boring in softer ground the soil could be compressed into the tunnel walls, so nothing needs to be transported away?
     
  6. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    #26 Ludus, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
    This is an interesting topic that seems to have something in common with Elon's other technology interests. The main ones, reusable rockets that return to launch site propulsively, electric cars and travel in evacuated tubes are all bypassed retro technology ideas that he rexamined and decided had real potential in his "first principles" sense.

    So is efficient tunneling as by "Subterrene". Google that and there are some interesting papers about nuclear subterrenes. There's also a whole conspiracy theory that believes the government has actually been building tunnels with nuclear subterrenes for 60 years.

    It's apparently pretty well accepted that the fracturing and melting approach to boring tunnels can work the way you suggest forming a casing out of glassy melted rock that's also forced into fractures in all directions so no debris has to transported out. It seems as though nobody has funded it even on a demo scale though. BTW it's not good for soft ground it's good for bedrock. It should be able to tunnel through rock hundreds to thousands of meters deep...well below soft soil or any existing human made structures (except occasion wells).

    This seems like just the sort of thing that gets Elon's attention. An abandoned cool old sci-fi idea that logic, data and math suggest could actually work.

    I was sticking on the nuclear reactor part which in the current legal/ political/regulatory climate just isn't worth it.

    It might pay to develop for smaller bore tunneling (1m or less) just to carry High Voltage DC lines and the new generation of fiber optic cables. It could be powered by externally supplied electric on HVDC cables.

    You'd have to provide HVDC cable that rolls along along down the length of the tunnel created behind the Head and some sort of liquid cooling heat dissipation system but otherwise the thing could be all electric. It could even be powered by sustainable electric and operate mostly drawing power in periods of minimal load...there's no reason it can't have a variable pace based on how cheap power is, since electric power is it's main consumable.

    It could be developed at a practical smaller scale (that pays) like this and ramped up to bigger tunnels for cars or hyperloop.

    It would of course be useful on Mars too.
     
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  7. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    #27 brucet999, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
    I looked on Google Earth to see the area you are describing. I couldn't help noticing that the main SpaceX Building has many solar panels, arrayed so as to form a giant "X" on the roof.

    Maybe Elon plans to save transportation costs by landing spent rocket boosters directly at the factory? :)
     
  8. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    There are alternative technologies out there that would be superior if they worked. High on the list is boring by hydraulic fracturing, melting the rock, forcing it into the fractures and using it as a vitrified tunnel casing. The idea avoids some of the biggest costs associated with removing debris from the tunnel and transporting in casings. This is concept discussed in detail decades ago but as far as I can tell never funded to a real working demo. Kinda like retro propulsive reusable rockets, evacuated tube transport or electric cars it's a bypassed retro tech idea that may be pretty solid in a first principles sense.
     
  9. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Yep. Connecting that parking structure to the main building underground seems to be the practical purpose.
     
  10. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I'm not sure this idea hasn't been put into practice outside of view. I'm saying that based on things I heard in 1984.

    Aaaaaannd ... that's irrelevant; it could still be done in the future.
     
  11. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    I made a quick CAD drawing of what could be the future for Autonomous Cars and Tunnels ;)

    tunnels.jpg
     
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  12. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    A new video "The Boring Company - Tunnels"
     
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  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Elon Musk is insane in a good way.
     
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  14. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Active Member

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    Charging would happen while you travel through the tube. Also, if you look at the new video just released, the cars dont drive in the tunnel, they are shuttled on what I assume are electric skateboards so I would imagine an automated charge cable would come out and fill you up. Or, the damn things are going 124mph across the city so you wont have much time to charge unless its 350kWh+.
     
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  15. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    Now THAT... THAT is a grand vision infrastructure project. And way more useful than a damned wall.
     
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  16. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    OMGAYFKM ! ! ! ! ! :)

    RT
     
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  17. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Very cool :)
    This incorporates a lot of other interesting stuff. It uses a Skateboard like Tesla vehicles are working toward being based on. In the original GM Hywire concept and I think in Tesla's intent, all the drivetrain of the vehicle is in the Skateboard which has plugin battery pack and is a plug and play module with any body of the same size. In manufacturing it would just come together with a complete body at the end of the assembly line. The only thing keeping Tesla from this currently is the mechanical linkages of the steering column, which is why I think they are going to eliminate that for full drive by wire as soon as the regulators allow it.

    This tunnel concept extends the utility of a skateboard to act as a sort of universal vehicle transporter. The tunnels need to exclude all ICE vehicles because they add a lot of ventilation issues and the system can be a lot more efficient if all vehicles are under system control. That means the system isn't compatible with most vehicles on the road. The skateboard transporter solves that.

    It's briefly shown taking a glass box like transport pod a lot like an Olli. I think self driving transport bus pods like this that fit as a body on Tesla Model S/X skateboards are on Tesla's agenda. This shows an integration with the public transport system, letting bus pods that aren't made to travel much more than 30-40 mph tops able to do 130mph over longer distances and pop up anywhere.

    The skateboards working with on street elevators in what were parking spots seems brilliant. With an integrated underground tunnel system this kind of access eliminates a lot of tunneling for ramps.

    The tunnel system could be directly accessed from almost anywhere. It doesn't have to be just streets, it could have access inside parking garages or to extend it a bit, actually integrate with the new vehicle like elevator cars that are being designed to move independently in buildings both vertically and horizontally. A passenger might get in an elevator car on the 50th floor and get off in a park 10 miles away.
     
  18. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    All traffic in the tunnel system would be on the skateboards which are just slightly bigger, slightly modified versions of the skateboards all Tesla vehicles will/do incorporate. Presumably like current Tesla skateboards they will be ready for automated battery pack swap. It's already in their DNA waiting for a use like this. Or the midlane slotcar like strip may imply the skateboards could pull all the power they need in realtime from the road without need for much of a battery pack. Either is viable once you standardize all the vehicles in the tunnels with the skateboards.
     
  19. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #39 Ulmo, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    If we don't build the wall, we won't have the types of people inside our country that will support the types of visions Elon has. Sickness will take over our country.

    Just remember the Q&A at his Mars talk.
     
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  20. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I saw a track at the bottom for guidance and delivering electricity. The sled probably only needs a few capacitors, power regulator, motors, and tracking steering system.
     

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