The overall cost of elevator ownership can often be equipped with a hefty price tag. Elevator Consultants work to perform evaluations of the corporation's portfolio and develop a long-term strategy to lower overall cost of ownership. Elevators represent 3-7% of a building's energy consumption. Evaluating an elevator's use of energy will be cost effective and energy saving. Here are some strategies to achieve this:
INTELLIGENT TRACKING STRATEGIES Submetering is an efficient way to determine how much energy a particular elevator is using. This involves installing data logging equipment for the entire bank of elevators to measure current and voltage in upcoming electrical lines. Submetering offers the most accurate measurements, and some utilities will subsidize energy efficiency upgrades depending on the results. Some companies disregard submetering because the initial investment can be pricey. Meters can cost anywhere from $ 2,500- $6,000 depending on the system.
FINDING THE WASTE: It is essential to examine the components responsible for the most energy use. Commonly, the drive system is the source of most energy waste. In older drives, like motor generator sets, the drives are constantly running. These drives also generate a lot of heat which requires even more energy to cool down.
EVERY BIT COUNTS: From a safety, financial, technological, and efficiency perspective there are a multitude of benefits for modernizing elevator systems. A full modernization can cost upwards of $120,000-130,000. Upgrading elevator components over time can prevent owners from forking out a ton of money at once. If a full-scale modernization is not in the budget, there are smaller changes that can be made without gaining huge expenses.
Lighting and Buttons: Lighting is an efficient way to reduce electricity consumption. In addition to being green, replacing elevator car lighting and push buttons with LEDs is a small but mighty way to save money.
Starter Replacement: This upgrade can save elevator owners an extra $300-500 annually. A new starter is necessary in order to guarantee protection against poor quality power that can lead to brownouts.
Controllers: Controllers that feature a standby mode are another great way to cut costs. Standby mode enables an elevator to “sleep” or shut off when not in use. When a passenger pushes the call button the elevator powers back up.
Destination Dispatch: This system permits passengers to enter their desired floor onto a screen or tablet prior to entering the elevator. The elevator uses this information to group riders by floor, directing them to a particular elevator.
Regenerative Drive: A regenerative drive recycles the energy produced while the elevator is slowing down or braking and fuels it back into the building.
Gearless Modernization: A gearless modernization eliminates the motor generator. This decreases noise levels and power consumption. With strict code requirements upgrades and modernization can provide assurance that elevator systems are up to date and safe to use. New technology features assist in cutting back wait and travel time, as well as increased efficiency and reliability. The benefits of modernization are evident, and it is through this process businesses can be guaranteed that their elevator systems are safe, reliable, and cost efficient!
Michael P. Walsh is a Senior Project Manager and Vertical Transportation Engineering Specialist at LF Driscoll in Philadelphia with 33+ years of experience in the elevator and escalator industry. Michael is involved with projects ranging from Design and Development to Final Acceptance and is responsible for Specification Review, Estimating, Constructability Review, Bidding to Subs, and awards, selecting the best overall elevator contractor based on qualifications, adherence to project requirements, and project budget. He works closely with Architects and Engineers to provide the best overall VT solution and handles schedule creation and progress review throughout the installation process. He works closely with ancillary contractors, eliminating conflict in the elevator installation process. Michael is also responsible for general VT training of all LF Driscoll field personnel every quarter.