The development of the braking system
The hydraulically actuated responsive brakes on the pod slow it down by pressing the brake pads onto the guide rail via pivot arms. When braking is activated, the valves in the brake control block open so that oil pressure from the hydraulic accumulators acts on the brake cylinders. In addition to the tight schedule, the challenge in the development phase was to use as little energy as possible.
The solution developed jointly by Bucher Hydraulics and Swissloop works without needing a continuously running pump for supplying oil. By using pressure accumulators, the pump for the braking system, together with an electrical supply from a rechargeable battery, can all be dispensed with. It was thus possible to plan a significantly smaller and more compact battery, with the added benefit of saving weight.
The pressure accumulators are charged with a hand pump before the test run. The absolutely leak-free valves from Bucher Hydraulics ensure that the pressure is maintained during the entire period of operation. For braking, the valves open and apply pressure to the brake cylinders.