The Beamways PRT System

Beamways is developing a PRT system with focus on minimal investment, high capacity and low energy consumption. These goals were used to select the system properties. A short presentation of the main properties is available here.

To minimize the initial investment the Beamways system has been optimized to move as much functionality as possible to the vehicles. The guideway system is by far the dominating part of the investment, while vehicles, especially in smaller systems is a lesser part of the total cost. This means that we have selected to introduce functions to bank the cabin sideways and tilt it forwards and back. These functions enables the guideway to be built with shorter on- and off ramps and also allows curves to be made tighter.

Beamways has performed extensive analyses of the capacity need in city wide PRT networks. We have found that single direction guideways seems to be a dead end: In small networks the mean speed is low as a large part of each trip is used to ”get around the block” when stations are on guideways going in the wrong direction. In larger networks the capacity required on each link is larger, and with single direction guideways the capacity limit is reached quite quickly when the networks grow.

Thus Beamways is focusing on dual direction guideways which offers almost three times the capacity of a single direction system but costs only about 50% more.

To minimize energy consumption Beamways has selected to use the most proven and efficient electric motors and power distribution principle. This means that we have rotating electric motors powered via a power rail inside the beam.