Elevator industry strives for greater energy efficiency

23rd September 2011 By: Jessica Hannah

The elevator industry – alongside other industries – aims to produce more environment-friendly and less energy-intensive elevators, says mobility solutions provider Vision Elevators MD Nicholas Wareing.

The most significant advance- ment in the industry has been the implementation of the regenerative drive (regen drive), he adds.

The regen drive motor is able to harvest the energy lost on traditional systems through heat dissipation on the brak- ing resistors. The energy harvested is then fed back into the energy grid and lowers the overall consump- tion of the elevator within a building.

With a regen drive, when a lightly loaded elevator car goes up, the motor spins but the elevator counterweight does most of the work owing to gravity. The energy generated by the motor is then fed back into the grid.

On the other hand, when a heavily loaded elevator car goes down, the motor spins but gravity is doing most of the work, so the regen drive again takes the unnecessary power output of the motor and sends it back to the grid.

Other energy saving trends include the use of liquid crystal display or light-emitting diode (LED) screens, as well as LED lights inside the car.

Another big trend, particularly applicable to Europe, is the attempt to reduce the amount of space needed for the entire lift system. “Smaller motors are being designed to take up less space, but are still able to pull the same size lift, which is also being fitted into smaller spaces.”

“The most significant trend in the elevator industry is being more efficient in terms of both energy consumption and the amount of space used,” Wareing concludes.