Modern elevators are being designed to increase energy efficiency with improved controls, hardware, and other systems that are more compact, use less energy, and can sometimes even create energy that can be used in other parts of a building.
Today’s energy-efficient elevators have several features. Controls are based on software and microprocessors, rather than electromechanical relays. Sensors and software inside the elevator cab can enter an idle mode when the elevator is not being used and automatically turn off lights, ventilation, music, and video screens. Destination dispatch groups passengers together to make fewer stops and get people to their floors faster. This technology also eliminates the need for floor buttons inside the elevator cab.
Elevators in mid- or high-rise buildings can have geared or gearless traction systems that can operate at high or variable speeds.
Double-deck elevators are another new energy-efficient technology. They have two cabs on top of each other, with one stopping on odd-numbered floors and one on even floors. The system reduces the number of stops the elevator must make, which can lower a building’s energy use. Double-deck elevator systems can also reduce the number of elevators that a building requires.
Elevator control software contains tools that allow consultants to study elevator traffic. They look at factors such as the number of floors traveled and times of peak load to estimate energy consumption. This information allows consultants to create strategies to improve the elevators’ energy efficiency and recommend upgrades to the system.
Energy efficiency has become an important component of building design. Advances in elevator technology enable building owners and managers to dramatically reduce the amount of energy their businesses use every day.