Elevator Of Tomorrow

By Amit Gossain December 03, 2023

COP 28: High-rise buildings can achieve improved energy efficiency and minimise emissions of greenhouse gases and consumption of energy by implementing sustainable elevator solutions

Elevator Of Tomorrow
Leaders and stakeholders from around the world gather at COP28 to discuss urgent climate issues. Shutterstock

Sustainable practises are becoming increasingly important in every sector as global emphasis shifts to addressing climate change and lowering carbon footprints.

Reducing their environmental impact requires high-rise buildings to embrace sustainable solutions owing to their scale and operational needs, which results in a substantial energy footprint. Elevators and escalators are one instance where notable advancements have been achieved in this context.

These systems have historically used a lot of energy and are necessary for vertical movement in high-rise buildings. That being said, sustainable solutions are now feasible given recent advancements in technology and growing environmental consciousness.

Leaders and stakeholders from around the world gather at COP28 to discuss urgent climate issues. The conference highlights how critical it is to implement smart, sustainable transportation solutions and to shape regulations that support energy-saving measures across a range of industries.

In order to better support global climate goals, this international partnership intends to expedite the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies, impacting vertical transportation systems such as elevators.

Sustainable Elevator Solutions 

A significant amount of energy can be used by elevators, especially in high-rise structures with multiple floors. However, manufacturers have created several inventive ways to lessen the impact they have on their surroundings.

High-rise buildings can achieve improved energy efficiency and minimise emissions of greenhouse gases and consumption of energy by implementing these sustainable elevator solutions. Some important sustainable vertical mobility solutions are as follows-

Regenerative Drives: Within the most recent generation of environmentally friendly elevator technology, regenerative drive technology has emerged as the most significant innovation. Elevators lose a significant amount of energy when they go up with a low load and down with a high load because the lift system emits more power than it consumes.

This is because typical lift drives lose power due to heat. Depending on the size, purpose, and quantity of lifts in a structure, the additional heating can also result in increased cooling expenses for the building owner. Thus, regenerative drives can be used in conjunction with lift drives to replace the role of conventional braking resistors.

Machine-Room-Less (MRL) Technology: To avoid having to build and provide energy, manufacturers modified motors and any other machinery located in a machine room to fit inside the hoistway. This allowed for some space-saving improvements. Compared to the larger versions formerly in use, MRL technology allows for less energy usage and heat dispersion.

When not in use, the door drive motors can switch to standby mode, recover quickly from power loss, and accommodate varying door opening and closing times. Therefore, the entire control approach is supported by the calculated energy utilisation. By drastically reducing the size of the power feeders to a more compact form, MRL eliminates the expense and environmental issues related to underground hydraulic cylinders.

Energy-Efficient LED Lighting: Since LED lights last longer, there is less need for regular replacements. Therefore, compared to conventional fluorescent lighting, putting LED lighting in lifts radically saves energy consumption. LEDs can be used to replace floor lights and buttons in addition to the overhead cab lighting, which lowers the cooling load and conserves energy. To further reduce heat production, energy-efficient AC controllers can be used in place of DC controllers.

Biometrics and Access Control: High-rise buildings must have improved access control systems for their escalators and lifts. This is made possible by the current smart solutions. In place of conventional keys or access cards, biometric technologies like fingerprints and facial recognition offer safe and practical access.

This improves security while also streamlining the entry and exit of authorised individuals from the building. Building management systems and access control systems can also be interconnected, enabling smooth entry point monitoring and control.

Modern Structure and Design 

People are increasingly opting for sustainable solutions as a result of the expanding environmentally conscious purchasing trend. As a result, green vertical transportation has been promoted by the introduction of green elevators, which have regenerative drives and sustainable components. Elevator and escalator designs have significantly changed in addition to their construction.

Glass lifts that go beyond standard escalators by adding technologically advanced features like fingerprint scanners, biometric security tools, and customised lighting schemes improve consumer travel experiences. Consequently, this offers hospitality establishments the chance to excel in their appearances while also guaranteeing an upscale and refined look, all of which add to a more enjoyable experience.

Altogether, a sustainable future for vertical mobility is being shaped by the convergence of technological innovation, environmental concern, and international collaboration—best illustrated by COP28. Regenerative drives, machine-room-less technology, energy-efficient LED lighting, and smart access control systems are all features of lifts of the future.

This all-encompassing strategy contributes to a smarter and more environmentally friendly urban setting by improving energy efficiency as well as changing the structure and operation of vertical mobility.

(Amit Gossain, Managing Director of KONE India.)