Energy demand is expected to increase 20 to 35 percent over the next 15 years and almost two-third of this amount will be consumed by cities. Building are the most significant consumer of urban energy consumption and therefore the most important item to focus on in order to reduce energy usage. Considering these facts, buildings have become an obvious target for cities which are aiming to lower their carbon footprint. For this purpose, various creative new technologies are being introduced that are contributing to increasing energy efficiency of buildings. One of these new technologies that have successfully reduced energy usage of buildings and contributed to the effort of cities in reducing their overall energy consumption green elevator.
    The introduction of eco-friendly elevators has played a major role in growth of green-building markets. These elevators operate using much less energy and require considerably lesser building space for installation. Likewise, several green strategies are available for eco-modernization of existing traditional elevators. These renovations might not be as beneficial as the green elevator itself but they definitely make a significant difference. Today, regenerative technologies can be installed in almost any existing building. One such example is the newly refurbished lifts of Berlin’s iconic TV tower. These elevators are custom-built to fit in, and obey the strict protection policies of this German landmark. Another example is a major airport of United States that has partnered with ThyssenKrupp Elevator company to modernize their escalators by equipping them with latest energy-efficient technology.
      The main features and strategies used by green elevators that are not present in traditional elevators include:
        • Regenerative Drives These are one of the most major innovations in the latest energy-efficient elevator technology. It is a known fact that when an elevator goes up carrying a light load and then comes down with a heavy load, the system consumes more power than usual. This power is dissipated as heat in traditional elevators, wasting considerable amounts of energy. To address this problem, regenerative drives have been introduced. These drives capture the heat that is generated by elevators while operating and convert it into reusable energy.
            For lifting the cab, power is generated into the elevator motor which then creates a lifting torque on the elevator shaft and sheave which moves the cab upward. When the cab moves downward, the motor acts as a power generator. It transforms the mechanical power into electric power and pumps the current back into the electrical grid where it can be used again by another elevator or other electricity loads. In this way regenerative drives save the energy that would’ve otherwise been wasted and reduce the overall energy consumption.
            • Destination Control Software This feature is most useful for elevators installed in skyscrapers. Destination control software was first introduced by Schindler Elevator Corp. to increase the ability of users to travel efficiently. As there are several floors in high-rise buildings, the destination control software organizes the passengers in groups according to their destination floor.
              For example, elevators equipped with destination control software do not stop at all the floors for various individuals. Instead, it groups all the passengers who have same destination floor in one trip. As people approach the elevators, the enter their destination floor through a key code, company ID badge, or some other similar device. One the basis of that information, passengers are divided in groups and assigned to different elevator cabs. This system adds to the convenience of passengers as well as reduce the wasted energy. This software considerably reduces users’ waiting time and increases the handling capacity of elevator up to 30 percent.
              • Environment Friendly Retrofitting OptionsThis is one of the major green strategies that most of the renowned elevator companies are using today. This strategy includes replacing existing high power-consuming lights with LEDs, installing sensors that turn off lights when the elevator cab is not in use, modernizing to micro-processor based controller, using clear oils in place of petroleum based fluids for hydraulic elevators, and replacing DC controllers with AC controllers.
                  Replacing incandescent lights with LED lights is one of the simplest yet highly beneficial green renovation strategies. It uses only 4 percent of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs. Similarly, AC controllers and Microprocessor-based controllers are a highly energy-efficient choice. Their upfront choice may be slightly high but they increase overall savings in the long run.