When we think about an elevator, we often picture pushing the button, waiting for the doors to open, and then stepping inside to be whisked up to the top of the building. The most common lift, a passenger elevator that can transport people between floors in a commercial building with multiple stories, is this one. It is surprising to learn that there are many options for elevators and lifts, both commercially and personally.
First, let’s talk about the commercial passenger elevators. Except for the one above, express elevators are available that do not serve all floors in a building and move passengers from its lobby to the highest floors. Urban transport elevators move passengers in open spaces, such as from the bottom of a hill to the top. The building’s structure, design, and use will determine the size and number of passengers that a commercial elevator can carry. Elevators are necessary for high-rise offices, hospitals, government buildings, and commercial spaces to ensure accessibility. Although not designed to transport passengers, they are used frequently in the commercial sector.
The residential elevator is a smaller version of the commercial elevator. It is intended for homeowners and improves their mobility. There are many price options for residential elevators, from the utilitarian to the luxurious and everything in between. Indoor and outdoor residential elevators can be built into the structure or attached to the staircase. These allow the user to lift themselves and sit down. These residential types replace stairs and allow homeowners to move around the house easily.
There are many types of elevators. Each one operates differently. The operating system is what makes these elevators different. The most popular types of the elevator are either hydraulic or electric, as well as cable-driven. Both residential and commercial settings can use either one of these types.
Hydraulic elevators are essentially a car that is attached to a lifting system. The shaft holds the car and attaches it to either guide rails or rope. The hydraulic ram is a fluid-driven piston that drives the car’s motion. It is mounted in a cylinder beneath. Although the hydraulic elevator is safe and reliable, it is not ideal for everyone. It requires a large machine room to store a 20-gallon tank of petroleum-based hydraulic oil. This takes up valuable floor space. Because of the complexity of their engine parts, they are susceptible to fluid leakage and can be costly to repair. They also consume 30 times more energy than traction lift spare parts, which can lead to higher energy costs.
An electric or cable-driven elevator uses a pulley and counterweight as well as an electric motor and track to propel the car up and downwards. The electric motor turns and moves the cables that raise and lower the elevator car. The elevator uses less energy because the counterweight reduces vibrations and the track keeps the car and counterweight in place.
Elevators powered by electricity or cable do not require hydraulic fluid. This makes them more eco-friendly and requires less maintenance. They don’t require a pit or machine room which reduces labor costs and lowers labor costs. Instead, all the drive equipment is installed at the top of an elevator shaft. This will keep it out of the way and protect it from flooding.
A variable speed drive makes it easy to install an electric elevator. A programmable controller is included with onboard diagnostics. The elevator’s rail length can also be extended if you want to add a floor to your home.
Other than electric and hydraulic elevators there are also winding drum and counterweight systems. Some of these systems require a machine area that is located below or above the hoistway. These rooms can be used to store the electric motor or hydraulic pump, as well as the controller cabinet. Smaller elevators don’t require a machine room because all components can fit within the car and hoistway. A cabinet with a computer often is added to small commercial systems.
Liftavator Accessibility Solutions has offices in New Bern, NC, and Charlotte, NC. They offer residential and commercial lifts throughout North Carolina and the Southeast. We can help you choose, install, and maintain the right unit for you, no matter what your budget. Visit our website today or call us to find out more about the high-quality solutions that we offer.