thyssenkrupp has showcased a new innovation in green mobility: a net-zero energy system which can be used for existing elevators.
Buildings – particularly large corporate buildings – are responsible for up to 40 percent of global energy consumption, but this breakthrough could put a huge dent in that number if adopted on a wide scale. It is hoped that it will also inspire other companies to create similar systems and make the urban world ever cleaner.
Elevator equipment has a long life cycle, and each lift is used potentially hundreds of times a day. They tend to remain in a building for at least 15 years, and can account for up to 10 percent of a building’s energy consumption. The concept of energy-creating elevators already exists, which convert the device’s kinetic energy into electricity that can be fed back into the building’s power grid. thyssenkrupp installed this system at the One World Trade Center in New York, and the energy created feeds the building’s lighting.
This net-zero energy concept takes clean elevators a step further, improving energy efficiency whether or not the lift is in motion. The design, which is easily installed in existing elevators, uses a ‘hibernation’ or ‘sleep’ mode when the lift is idle that reduces energy demand. The energy to power the lift when in motion can be gathered from solar panels, with some to spare.
The system has been tested thoroughly, with a particular focus on older buildings, to ensure retrofitting is viable and valuable. thyssenkrupp is continuing to work on smart products and technologies to improve life and the environment.
Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, commented: “Elevators are often overlooked in our buildings but are actually at the very heart of a more energy-efficient future for our cities. We are delighted to reveal today our progress in developing a new concept that can help deliver this vision and set the stage for the next generation of intelligent, energy-savvy innovation.”
He added: “If we are to meet the sustainability targets defined by countries and ultimately save our planet’s resources, authorities and private companies need to act collaboratively in implementing the latest technology solutions to deliver real energy savings. At thyssenkrupp, we are constantly evolving our game-changing technologies and solutions in order to best serve current and future urban mobility needs.”
The final report on the net-zero energy elevator can be downloaded here