New Technology Allows Two Elevators to Run in One Shaft
Since 1853, elevators have played an important role in modernizing the world into what it has became today. Without elevators, skyscrapers might not exist in the current way they do today.
The idea of the elevator really hasn’t changed all that much in the past 150+ years. Yes, they have gotten faster, bigger, and safer, but besides that, no major step in innovation has been made since its safety demonstration by Elisha Otis in 1853 – that is, until now.
A German company named ThyssenKrupp believes its new “Twin Elevator” system is a step of technology that the elevator industry has been needing, and building designers have been begging for.
The name “Twin” comes from the idea of two elevators running independently of each other, in one shaft. Checkout the below video for a brief explanation of the system:
Not only does the Twin Elevator system practically eliminate waiting for long periods of time, but it also saves physical building space by cutting the number of shafts you need in half. This technology would be a major plus in large cities like New York city, where every inch of a building sell for premium prices.
“Passengers select their destination not in the cab but on a touch-screen terminal in the hall. The control system checks the call against the current position and travel direction of the elevators and against other calls. Within fractions of a second it calculates the ideal travel route and indicates the elevator that will get the passenger to his/her destination fastest. The DSC system can also prioritize certain journeys, such as transporting disabled persons or allowing encoded access to specific ﬂoors.”
There are a couple downsides to having a Twin system, one of which, is the fact that sometimes the lift/car you ride may have to wait for the lift above you to clear out of the way (by going to the top floor). The other downside is the fact that you will need 3-4 additional floors above the lift to house all the electronics and motors. The reason for the large amount of space needed above the lift is the fact that you will need two motors for each shaft (one for each car). These motors will need to be stacked (in most cases) above each other to allow for less cable tension. Sometimes buildings install pulley systems in a room right above the shaft that leads to upper motor rooms to organize cable flow and allow for emergency over-speed governors.
The top car/lift has a center weighted cable array that pulls the lift up from the top center of the car, similar to a normal cable elevator system. The bottom lift has its cables run down the side of the shaft, just on the outside of the top elevator. These cables hook into a platform with wheels that sits under the bottom lift car. The bottom lift usually operates around 4m/s while the top operates around 6m/s.
Unfortunately, according to my research, there is not a Twin Elevator system in the USA to go take a ride on. How come the Germans always seem to have the coolest toys?
Fun Fact: Without atmospheric air pressure regulatory systems in place, the fastest speed an elevator should travel is around 8m/sec to avoid major ear discomfort. The fastest elevator in service currently is in Taiwan, and travels 16.8m/s or 60.6 km/h (37.6 mph). This elevator has atmospheric regulatory systems built into each car to prevent major ear discomfort. (video here)
© 2014, Payton Peterson. All rights reserved.