Inside the Building Technology Showcase: Elevator

Elevator installation in progress at the Building Technology Showcase. Image courtesy of Kathy Chapman/ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas.

Elevator installation in progress at the Building Technology Showcase. Image courtesy of Kathy Chapman/ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas.

Fraunhofer CSE’s Building Technology Showcase is a far-reaching, energy-efficient retrofit of a 100-year-old historic structure in Boston’s Innovation District. In this new series, we look ‘under the hood’ to explore some of the systems and technologies driving this project. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the Building Technology Showcase is just where energy-efficient technologies can crop up. Elevators are probably the last place you’d expect to find cutting-edge energy-saving technologies, but that’s exactly what ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has donated to our project.

TKE’s six-stop synergy elevator offers a number of features to improve efficiency – some obvious, some less so. For instance, the elevator’s lights and fan shut off when not in use. A gearless motor reduces the number of mechanical parts used in the system to a minimum, eliminating the need for a dedicated machine room, reducing maintenance requirements, and lowering energy consumption.

However, ThyssenKrupp’s elevator system doesn’t just save energy – it actually creates it. In conventional elevators, a portion of the power used to run the elevator is lost through waste heat every time the cab brakes. By using a technology called regenerative braking, ThyssenKrupp’s system is able to recapture much of this power and feed it back into the building’s electrical grid. Reducing the amount of heat generated by the elevator also cuts down on cooling loads in the Showcase, leading to additional savings.

300s-Elevator-System

About author
I'm Fraunhofer CSE's former Marketing Specialist, having worked at the Center from its founding in 2008 until 2013. In late 2013, I left the clean energy industry to pursue a career in enterprise software.
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