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28 November 2018

Innovative Lift Technology Employed for Saving Energy

At J.V Tierney & Co, our consulting engineering design team has been involved in many important building projects over the last 70 years, many of which have required the use of innovative technologies designed to make the most of every naturally existing power sources. From photovoltaic windows to technologies that eliminate the need for power hungry air conditioning systems, our M & E Services engineers have used them all at some point.

In this article, we look at regenerative elevator drives and brakes, which are used by mechanical & electrical engineers to save energy that would otherwise be lost. In traditional cable driven elevators, much of the work is performed by a large counterweight and they lose energy in three different ways:

  1. When going up

  2. When going down

  3. When slowing down

When a lift is operating, brakes must be employed to slow down the natural ascent and descent that’s propelled by the counterweight, using gravity. Despite much of the lifting and dropping being caused by the counterweight, energy is used to control its movement so that it’s gentle enough for the elevators occupants.

Whenever the lift is moving, the motor spins, even when it’s not what’s lifting the unit. Motors are usually only in use when the elevator is more than half full, so most of the time, it’s moving because it has to, not because it’s in use. Regenerative elevator technology can be used by engineering consulting firms to save building owners in the day-to-day building running costs, by redistributing kinetic energy and heat created by the movement of the elevator car and storing it or returning it to the grid.

It’s intelligent technology like this that is increasingly in use in Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs), which are fast becoming the new minimum standard in the construction industry. An example of how our mechanical and electrical engineering consultants employed this technology can be seen on the NUI Galway- Goldcrest Village project http://bit.ly/2z4Pzmj.

If you would like to know more about regenerative elevator technology and what it could do for your next building project, take a look at our website www.jvtierney.ie where you’ll find everything you need to know and a number of examples of our past work. Alternatively, if you’d like a chat with one our expert team, call us now on 01 421 4900.