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Solucore Inc. | A Professional Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm
Solucore Inc. | A Professional Elevator and Escalator Consulting Firm

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Can You Make Affordable Elevator Upgrades?

A complete attempt at lift modernization can be a costly affair. However, there are a number of other solutions that might be customized to suit your budget. For instance, you might want to look for ways to cut down on elevator energy waste with less expensive options. Begin your lift efficiency upgrades by first getting a handle on how much energy each machine in your premises utilizes. Here are some options worth your consideration.

Install data logging equipment

This means installing data logging equipment in your entire bank of elevators in order to measure voltage and current in the incoming electrical lines. In this way, you can be able to get the most accurate measurements on how much each of your lifts is utilizing the available energy and be able to take the right remedial action where one is using more energy than it should. While the initial investment is significant, the end results are well worth it.

What about if installing sub-meters turns out too expensive?

Most property owners are not comfortable monitoring consumption in-house, and for a good reason. The meters themselves cost anywhere from $2 000 to $ 7 000, something that discourages most property owners from tracking energy consumption as closely as they would have wished regardless of the possible savings. In this case, you might want to consider bringing in a lift consulting engineer or any other appropriate third party to perform an audit. This kind of an audit will analyze the age of your lift, when it was installed, and if or when it was modernized. If your equipment is more than 15 years old, then there are huge potential gains to be had by conducting this type of an audit.

Replace the components responsible for the most energy utilization

Consider replacing components that are responsible for the most energy use, for example the drive system. Older drives, for instance motor generator sets, run semi-continuously, something that can be quite inefficient leading to huge waste of energy. These types of drives lack the capacity to push clean power back into the building. As a result, energy is dissipated through heat, meaning that older variety of elevators require HVAC systems to prevent overheating.

Replace the controllers, the starter and the lights

LEDs are high-efficiency, low-heat lighting systems that can have a huge impact on your energy use. With LEDS, you can expect to save around $1 000 per year on your energy uses. Many old model lifts come with T12 fluorescent lights that must be upgraded to T8s for energy saving sake. Most of these elevator cabs have halogen down-lights that give off a lot of heat and consume lots of energy. They all need to be replaced with modern LED lights if significant energy saving could be achieved. You might also want to replace the controllers with standby types to allow the lift to either shut off or reduce lighting and HVAC use while it us unoccupied.

Implement larger improvements in phases

Large improvement projects don’t have to be carried out all at once. These can be taken in phases to make them easier to handle and more affordable. An array of factors, including the number of elevators, number of floors, traffic requirements architectural elements and fixtures, are all relevant when it comes to determining the overall cost.

If you are looking at ride quality versus energy efficiency, then there are different levels of retrofits or modernizations that need to be considered. One of these factors is to look at the elevator machine itself i.e. the gearbox, motor, cab interiors, and so forth. The majority of old model lifts were state-of-the-art back in the 70s, 80s, or even 60s. They are all obsolete today and require to be modernized. The most basic modernization in this case is replacing the DC motor with an AC motor and changing out the drive mechanisms for it. Once done, you will achieve anywhere from 30- to 50-percent in energy savings. While replacing all these things might be expensive, the resultant energy savings are truly worth it.

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