As the population of the world increase, the number of buildings and the need for transporting them inside is also increasing. To answer this need, new buildings are getting taller and taller which also requires faster vertical transportation. As more people would like to travel longer routes in these new buildings, the solution is faster transportation which can be possible with a high-speed elevator. But what is a high-speed elevator? What is the difference between high-speed and normal elevators? In this article, we will give some information about them.
Definition of High-Speed Elevators
First, we should know what is a high-speed elevator. According to the documentation, there is no classification as a high-speed elevator. But according to EN 81-20 standard, when the elevator speed exceeds 3,5 m/s, additionally ropes are needed at the compensation system. Also, the system needs to have a tension-gear. As global elevator companies use a different system over 3,5 m/s, the elevators whose speed is 4 m/s or over are defined as high-speed elevators.
General Differences from Normal Elevators
When we look at the working principle, there is no difference between the high-speed and normal elevators. They both work with the same principle. But when it comes to the hardware, high-speed elevators have more components, so they are heavier. As we mentioned that there is a compensation system at high-speed, the ropes between the cabin and the counterweight are used in order to stabilize the cabin. The compensation ropes are wind around a group of a pulley system which is located at the bottom of the shaft. This necessity requires a deeper shaft.
On the other hand, high-speed cabin creates more air mass when it is pushed or drawn, and this air mass causes higher vibration (especially horizontal) in the car. This vibration disrupts the stability of the cabin. In order to minimize the vibrations:
- To hang weights at the bottom of the car in order to help the car stay at the center,
- Cabin guide rails are turned into more complicated components.
- Roller guide rails ara preferred slide-type guide rails şn order to minimize the vibration,
As the speed of the elevator increase, more sophisticated components are needed. When the speed exceeds 7 m/s, the dimensions of the wheels grow up to 20-30cm from 10-15 cm and the springs are changed with rubber-based dampeners. If the speed goes over 10 m/s, which is considered ultra-high-speed, the companies prefer electric skates equipped with frequency damping electronic components.
Aerodynamics and Safety Issues
The air mass that moves with the car creates aerodynamics issues. In order to overcome these issues, new designs are improved. One of the design is the aerodynamic casing. They are metal plates mounted to the cabin in the shape of a sharp dome. These metals are placed on and under the cabin in order to slice the air mass inside the shaft. On the other hand, the vibrations created by the speed can be harmful to the doors and locking mechanisms in the cabin. To minimize the risk of this issue, single-direction air-escape-openings are placed at the bottom, middle and the top of the building shaft.
The increased speed also creates some safety issues. Some safety requirements need to be increased by using larger safety components. The buffer strokes of high speed necessitate deeper shafts. Special deceleration systems are designed for high-speed elevators. An electronic device that spots the position of the cabin decelerates it automatically in an emergency situation.
Another safety issue is about the car brakes and the Overspeed regulator. As the speed is higher, more sophisticated and improved systems are used. There are more and bigger motor brakes at the high-speed elevators.
Where the High-Speed Elevators Used
As we can understand, high-speed elevators are mostly used in the highest buildings in the world. The world’s fastest elevators are at 530 m tall Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre Building in China with a record speed of up to 21 m/s speed. The second-fastest elevators are at 632m and 128 floor Shanghai Tower with a speed of 20,5 m/s. There are many more skyscrapers that have elevators whose speed range from 6-20 m/s. These are incredible numbers when we think about the best and it is possible to reach the top of the buildings in seconds.
There are many other technical improvements in high-speed elevators. As they move faster, the designers face more technical difficulties that require innovative solutions. As innovation creates new technologies with mechanical solutions, more reliable, safer, and faster elevators become possible. Of course, these are impossible speeds for a middle-class company but it is important to closely follow the innovations and prepare great solutions for the customers. ISF Elevator company is a modernist company that can find the best and most improved solutions to their follower. For more information and any kind of assistance, you can always contact us on our website and phone number.