Arun Aggarwal, CEO of Apex Elevators explains the major initiatives taken by the industry to make elevators energy efficient and eco-friendly
Until a few years ago, the concept of ‘green’ elevator was not at all familiar even among the elevator fraternity. Today, the ‘green’ elevator has become a trend which is taking over design philosophy very fast.
It is estimated that a significant amount of world energy (over 35 per cent) is used by buildings and elevators consumers about 5 per cent to 10 per cent of building energy. Elevators companies around the globe are putting their best efforts to develop new design and technologies that reduce energy consumption.
So what is a ‘green’ elevator? Is it just energy consumption or something more?
Though energy consumption is the key parameter, the complete process of getting raw materials, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of elevators also play a major role. Some of major initiatives taken by elevator industry in this regard are summarised as follows:
Machine Room Less (MRL) Technology
One of the biggest reforms that happened in the middle of 1990 since electric Traction Elevators came into operations some 100 years ago. MRL Elevators use a high efficiency PM Gearless motor that reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent compared to a geared system.
Polyurethane Coated Steel Belts
Light weight, lubrication free, PU coated steel belts in place of steel wire ropes are being used widely to further reduce energy consumption.
Usage of Roller Guides is also helping to eliminate the usage of lubricants on Guide Rails. This further improves the efficiency and environment.
Green elevators just not mean reducing energy consumption. By using Regenerative Drives, the energy is recovered and fed back to supply line. This energy was earlier got wasted or dissipated as heat. This initiative produces power that can be used for other purposes like lighting and air-conditioning. It helps in reducing the cooling required for machine room area with less heat generated by elevators. Regenerative drives also reduce the power consumption at high usage periods.
Artificial Intelligence and destination-based dispatch control logics
Elevators consume the least energy, when they are loaded between 45 per cent to 50 per cent of their capacity. Green elevator designs tries to group the traffic in buildings in such a manner so as to ensure running of elevators in a lesser power consumption mode. Their destination based dispatch system try to group the traffic to reduce the frequency of elevator running with less loading trips.
Handling capacity can be improved (up to 30 per cent) thereby reducing the less usage of elevators and may also help in lesser number of trips to handle same amount of traffic.
LED lights and BLDC fans and blowers with auto cut-off of lights and fan when not in use. These features are being used extensively in elevators to further reduce the energy consumption.
Lower Carbon footprint
‘Green’ elevator also emphasises a lot more responsibility on elevators industry in reducing the overall carbon footprint in their whole process from design to manufacturing to installation. Customers in near future may base their selection of elevator vendor on energy efficient products, manufacturing facilities, and remote service capabilities etc.
It is believed that elevators would be more ‘green’ in future, not only in colour but in true sense.
Arun Aggarwal, CEO
Apex Elevators Pvt Ltd