Elevator Industry’s Holy Grail
Considered by many as the “Holy Grail” or the “Willy-wonka-lift,” thyssenkrupp MULTI enables elevator cabins to move in shafts in the same way that trains move in rail systems, with various cabins per shaft and permitting vertical as well as horizontal mo
Most elevators only move in vertical shafts, with one elevator per shaft. This limits the capacity for moving people inspite of elevators occupying excessive floor space in buildings. In 2002, thyssenkrupp addressed this issue with the TWIN elevator system, offering two cabinsper shaft and a 30% increase in transport capacity as well as a reduction in the elevator footprint in buildings by 30%.
TWIN elevators were advancement on single cabin systems, improving capacities as well as operational efficiency. However, an increase in the number of cabins in this system was restricted by the safety concerns, complex cable arrangements and the requirement for one car to always be above the other. This is where linear drives gain a significant advantage, eliminating the use of ropes and enabling the use of more than one car in the same shaft.
After presenting a 1:3 scale model at its Innovation Center in Spain, thyssenkrupp showed a fully functioning unit installed in its new test tower in Rottweil, Germany. This process is scheduled for completion by around 2019/2020. A new linear drive will enable one single motor to be sufficient to perform horizontal and vertical movements and an exchanger will move cabins from one shaft to the other.
Operating on the basic premise of a circular system, such as a paternoster, MULTI will use ropeless linear technology to operate elevators and a single loop can incorporate various cabins. With a targeted speed of 5 m/s, the system will enable near-constant access to an elevator cabin every 15 to30 seconds, with a transfer stop every 50 meters. Passengers will enjoy reduced wait times and the option of
double entries on the ground floor improves ease of access in large buildings.
MULTI also offers much higher capacities and faster and more comfortable movement as compared with high-speed elevators, which are limited by the effects of pressure on the human body, with many people experiencing discomfort while travelling in elevators at speeds higher than 10 m/s.
Although the ideal building height for MULTI installations starts at 300 meters this system is not constrained by a building’s height. With no ropes, a multi-level brake system, and wireless power transfers from shaft to cabin, MULTI requires smaller shafts of a mere 6 square meters. This can signify significant cost savings for the building’s developer. The overall increase in efficiency also translates into a reduced need for elevator shafts, thereby decreasing a building’s elevator footprint by up to 50% and providing further usable floor space and revenues to building owners.
thyssenkrupp’s latest offering ‘Multi’ allows operating of multiple elevator cars in the same vertical shaft as well as horizontal shaft changing cabin system.
MULTI applies the concept of the TWIN’S control system and safety features but includes new elements such lightweight carbon composite materials for cabins and doors, weighing amere 50 kg instead of 300 kg in standard elevators, resulting in an overall 50% weight reduction as compared to standard technologies.