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Green Energy Movement | Green Elevators

October 25th, 2012

The green energy movement has hit almost every industry and technology and now it is coming to elevators. Elevators have come a long way since their inception in 1853 when Elisha Graves Otis invented the elevator safety device for use in lifting. In the past, elevators’ cables breaking was a major safety issue.

Two main elevator improvements have helped to green elevators sand save energy and space—two things that are very important in the green movement. These are the improvements in machine-roomless elevators and improvements in energy consumption.

Machine-roomless elevators, also known as MRL’s emerged as early as 1990. MRLs, allow elevator operational components to fit into the elevator shaft. A small box contains the elevator controller, whereas before an entire room was needed.

Major elevator companies such as Otis, Schindler, Kone Corp and ThyssenKrupp have all developed their own MRL’s for the U.S. and Europe. Europe has been using the technology longer as U.S. building codes and regulations have slowed the process at home.

This technology has really grown and evolved over the past 30 years. They have replaced geared traction elevators that work for five to fifteen floors and are also making a play for the hydraulic elevator market which serve high rise buildings. It currently holds one third of the market and is growing.

Minimizing energy consumption is another goal of the green elevator industry and many companies are engineering great options. Even though MRL elevator manufacturing types can vary, the motors use up to 40 percent less energy than traditional models. The motors are smaller and generate less heat.

Otis Elevator’s Gen2 and HydroFit models save space and energy by capturing energy normally wasted as heat. The model feeds it back to the building’s electrical system for use in other areas. These models increase efficiency by 75 percent by also including LED lighting and automatic sleep mode for lights and fans.

The changes have not only helped the efficiency and design of elevators, but offer a smoother, quieter and safer ride for all elevator passengers.

Contact The Talley Group for the latest and greatest green engineering positions.

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