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Recent Articles

Yes, you read that right. I assert we will need to miniaturize our products’ burden on buildings while having bigger experiences and faster delivery times which requires stronger materials. 

Remember Ironman’s super-cool digital screens inside his ocean-side lair? Well today, thyssenkrupp announced that our service technicians will use HoloLens technology in its elevator service operations worldwide.

There is no getting around it. If your building is two stories or hundreds of feet, you are going to need an elevator. You have to meet the American Disabilities Act codes but what you don’t need is a complicated elevator system to travel just a few feet.

The term “smart city” can be open to interpretation. Here are a few prerequisites established a few years ago.  A smart city uses technologies to be more intelligent and efficient when using resources.

thyssenkrupp is currently putting the finishing touches on the installation of 30 elevators and 2 escalators that will serve 52 floors at River Point, a new office tower located on a prime piece of property overlooking the Chicago River.

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A full elevator modernization is expensive but there are other solutions that may be more tailored to your budget. Buildings magazine suggests ways cut down on elevator energy waste with some less expensive alternatives.

Start by getting a handle on how much energy your elevators use by submetering the equipment or conducting an audit. This practice results in the most accurate measurements, and some utilities will subsidize energy efficiency.

Next, consider replacing the components responsible for the most energy use, like the drive system. Older drives, such as motor generator sets, run semi-continuously, which can be very inefficient and contribute to a large waste of energy. Older drives lack the capability to push clean power back into the building. Therefore energy is dissipated through heat, so older machines require HVAC to prevent equipment from overheating.

Other small scale solutions include replacing the lights, the starter and controllers. LEDs or other high-efficiency, low-heat lighting provides a quick payback. LED push buttons are also available. According to the article in Buildings, you can expect to save $300-500 per year replacing the starter and a smart starter that also protects against poor quality power that can lead to brownouts. If you’re considering a larger-scale project, check to see if code will allow adding controllers with standby mode where the elevator will either shut off or reduce lighting and HVAC while the elevator is unoccupied.

You do not have to take on the entire modernization all at once. Instead phase in larger improvements to make them more affordable. For instance, start by replacing the DC motor with an AC motor and change out the drive mechanisms. Then upgrade the cab interiors.  Regenerative drives that reclaim the energy created while braking or slowing down and fuel it back into the building are an excellent upgrade. Consider adding smart control that groups passengers in the most efficient way, reducing the number of stops for all riders. Got an older geared elevator? A geared to gearless modernization eliminates the motor generator, reducing noise levels and power consumption.

So why spend the money? An inefficient elevator isn’t just an energy hog – its wasteful operation is a red flag for bigger, more expensive problems. Poorly functioning elevator can cause headaches in both the short and long term by inconveniencing building occupants.

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