4 Ways To Make Your Elevators More Energy Efficient

Justin Ross

Most attempts at efficiency focus on things like air conditioning and heating, lights, and even alternative energy. However, there's one big energy consumer in your building that you may be ignoring. It's your elevators. Your elevators probably run all day and may get heavy use in the morning and evening. If your building is like most, the elevators haven't been replaced or significantly changed in decades. However, new advances in elevator technology are making elevators much more energy efficient. Here are four of the most efficient changes you can make to your elevator system:

Install smart technology. You're probably installing smart technology all over your building, so why not do the same in your office? LED lighting is a great way to reduce costs in elevators. However, if you combine the lighting with smart sensors, you can save even more money. The sensors can tell when the elevator is empty or occupied. If empty, the lights dim, music stops, and any video technology shuts down. As soon as the doors open and someone enters, it all powers back on.

Use double cabs. This may be a big undertaking, but it can dramatically cut your elevator energy consumption and reduce wait times. Many buildings are switching to double-cab elevators. These have one cab right on top of the other. One cab always stops at odd floors while another always stops at even floors. It may require some passengers to use the stairs for one floor if they're making an odd-to-even or even-to-odd trip. However, it effectively cuts your number of elevator trips in half because there are twice as many cars moving each time.

Use destination dispatching. Traditionally, people call for an elevator on the outside of the bank and then input their destination when they get in the elevator. That calls the elevator that is closest to the entry point. However, with destination dispatching, a person enters their desired floor when they call for the elevator. That calls elevators that are already on their way past or near that specific floor. Keep in mind, this only works well if you have a large elevator bank that can be divided by destination. If you only have one or two elevators, those elevators will probably get heavy use regardless of whether you use this method.

Transition to a new traction motor. Elevators generally consume energy on the way up and generate energy on the way down. Newer motors can now harvest that generated energy from the downward movement and store it for use on the way up. That means that the elevator is powering itself to an extent. This can be a large investment, but you'll likely recoup that investment in energy savings.

Talk to your elevator service company, like All City Elevator, Inc., about other changes you can make. They can evaluate your elevators and make specific recommendations.