Eco friendly elevators powered by sun or wind are the new rage. They recycle energy and provide the same comfort and ride quality as the traditional elevators.
The elevator designed by architect Matthew Lloyd from UK uses water weights to counterbalance the lift cart and the drive is powered entirely by energy harnessed from two large solar panels. The water/solar powered elevator lifts wheelchair users over the Duke of York steps next to the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The three tonne structure can lift as many as eight adults, a remarkable achievement given only two solar panels are used. The extensive use of Perspex in its design allows people to view its inner workings. SMA Solar Technology AG provided an inverter/charger and Sanyo supplied HIT solar panels.
Elevator Powered by Sunlight
Schindler has introduced a solar-powered elevator that is a hybrid system designed to supply from up to 100 per cent of the elevator’s power needs from rooftop solar panels and a proprietary Hybrid Energy Manager (HEM) that stores the solar energy in batteries until needed. It not only reduces energy costs and avoids the costly power-peaks caused when elevators begin each trip, but it can run independently of the power grid so it can continue operating during power interruptions or blackouts.
The new solar elevator system uses a standard gearless machine and room less elevator, which is already up to 60 per cent more energy efficient than hydraulic elevators. Solar panels can supply most of the Schindler Solar Elevator’s power requirements, which will vary depending on size and daily traffic. Backup power needs are provided by a one-phase grid connection, which is significantly simpler and less costly to install and operate than the standard three-phase connection. The Schindler Hybrid Energy Manager collects and stores the clean energy generated from the solar panels and the elevator operations to provide a backup energy supply should a power interruption occur.
The Gen2 elevator from Otis Elevator Company reportedly eliminates the need for three-phase power because it is solar-power capable and uses battery technology to continue to run when the power goes out. All that is needed is a regular electrical outlet and the elevator operates on single-phase power. The Gen2 Switch elevator is up to 75 per cent more efficient than traditional elevators. The Gen2 system requires 12 times less installed power from the power grid as compared to a standard Gen2 residential elevator. The system’s single-phase technology is capable of drawing renewable power from resources like solar panels or wind turbines.