A Comparison between Hydraulic & Electric Elevators

When choosing the right elevator for your building, it is recommended to consider the type of system you will require. The hydraulic and electric lifts are the most common options you will come across. Knowledge of these two systems can allow you to make the right choice based on your specific requirements.

Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators have become widely popular in the commercial setting. They are ideally suited for buildings with up to 6 stories. There is no need for lots of overhead hoisting equipment compared to other systems. This is because the system is shaped like a cylinder. These lifts use metal piston under the car.

Some of the key points about hydraulic lifts are as follows:

  • Perfect for up to mid-rise buildings
  • Flexible in terms of design
  • Can accommodate both passengers and freight
  • Openings can be created on any side
  • Hole-less drive eliminates the need for jackhole

The elevator shaft features space under the car for housing the piston. Some models can have telescoping piston that can collapse and don’t require a big pit or eliminates the need for it.

Electric Elevators

Electric lifts are faster than their hydraulic counterparts. It makes sue of counterweight for movement and also features batteries. It makes use of sheaves and cables for the movement. Some of the key features of this technology include the following:

  • As already mentioned, it is relatively faster
  • These systems typically require a machine room, which means more room is required
  • They are more energy efficient but can cost more to install
  • The system features moving cables in place of the metal piston in hydraulic lifts

Benefits of Installing Hydraulic Lifts

The key benefits of choosing hydraulic elevators for your building are as follows:

  • It doesn’t require you to make a pit
  • There is no need for a machine room and head room
  • You can install the machine close to the shaft
  • There is high level of customization option based on the size. You can also have a wall-mounted design.
  • It requires power only when moving up, not when moving down
  • Due to the cantilever cabin frame, entry and exit can be made from 3 sides
  • The passenger capacity can range from 2 to 25

A hydraulic elevator can move down to the ground floor even when there is power outage. This is made possible because it comes down with the help of gravity. It is also found that these systems require lesser amount of maintenance compared to their electric counterparts.

Benefits of Installing Electric Lifts

Electric elevators also offer a variety of benefits including the following:

  • These lifts can also be designed without the need for a pit
  • You can also customize these lifts based on the available size
  • These units come with capacities ranging from 2 to 50 passengers
  • These lifts can also be wall-mounted

Speed – Electric Lifts

This is one of the biggest advantages of choosing electric elevators even when hydraulic-powered systems offer many other advantages. If speed is an important factor for you, it will be best for you to install an electric lift in your building. Hydraulic systems are, however, considered to be quieter and more gentle in their climb and descent mechanism. The higher speeds of electric models make them more suitable for buildings with more floors.

This also means that these units have faster acceleration and deceleration. In many buildings this feature can be even more important than the high speeds that can be achieved.

Installation – Hydraulic Lifts

Hydraulic lifts have an edge when it comes to installation costs and ease. They feature fewer structural parts and reduce the need for overhead construction. Electric lifts have to be constructed in a spate space on the top. This means more parts and the need to install counterweight cables.

Energy Efficiency – Hydraulic Lifts

As energy costs continue to increase, energy efficiency is a big factor to consider when choosing the right elevator for your building. Hydraulic lifts set the standard here because it makes use of gravity for the downward movement. You can find electric lifts with high energy savings, but they have still to go a long way. There are models in the market that are not far behind their hydraulic counterparts in terms of energy savings.

The rules for machine room are not strict for hydraulic elevators. Some companies do offer MRL hydraulic lifts. So you can come across a wide range of configurations in the market when looking for the right elevator for your building.

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