With urbanization driving the need for taller buildings, and an aging population looking for more well-being in their lives, easy and fast access with high comfort levels and energy efficiency are key parameters in the design of today’s lifts and escalators. Even thrill-seekers looking to reach new heights in ski resorts have an impact on the industry.
Danfoss Drives is a leading supplier of AC drives for the lifts and escalators industry. Our products provide effortless speed control and optimized efficiency of equipment in, for example, commercial and residential buildings, ski resorts and industrial sites all around the world. And, aside from AC drives, Danfoss is already present in building automation solutions in almost every building, supermarket or factory globally.
Solutions for new developments and modernizations
Danfoss Drives’ broad range of AC drives, including both VLT® and VACON® brands, provides flexibility in the development of new equipment and modernization of existing installations. When a new lift series or escalators are designed, Danfoss Drives is able to draw on years of experience related to applications and AC-drives technology to support the development.
Cooperation in analyzing the operation of drives using test towers, and optimization of the controls, performance and system as a whole, are important areas of our expertise. And our wide service offering covers scheduled maintenance requirements and optimization of modernization packages.
Traction lifts and escalators
These are the most common types of equipment. Cars are maneuvered by means of rolling ropes over a pulley system, and the load is balanced by a counterweight. Accurate control of a high-efficiency motor using an AC drive provides the required ride comfort. Lift-specific functionalities make it easy to integrate the AC drive into a new lift series or to modernize existing installations.
In escalators, AC drives enable low-speed idling and full-speed operation with soft acceleration and deceleration. The high efficiency and smooth operation of the equipment guarantees its long lifetime. Both new equipment and existing installations benefit from a lower total cost of ownership.
Hydraulic lifts, also widely used, have pistons that move the car along guide rails. When AC drives are used, the hydraulic pump is driven in relation to the true demand with the lowest losses. The hydraulic oil doesn’t get hot and the lift will have unlimited cycles per day, shorter cycle times and very high efficiency. Energy savings exceed 50%, and total savings of up to 75% are possible when oil coolers are removed and the air conditioning has less work to do. Modernization of an existing lift to use AC drives can be done in a matter of hours.
Smooth access to locations at high altitude, in deep snow or that offer spectacular scenery is possible with ropeways. Danfoss Drives provides the required redundancy by controlling multiple motors or multi-segment motors. The flexibility in application design allows various different configurations for both new and modernization systems. Energy efficiency can be maximized with regenerative drives that feed the braking energy back to the electrical grid.
Construction hoists and industrial lifts
Moving people and goods at construction sites is handled efficiently by using rack- and pinion-type hoists and elevators. Multiple parallel motors and a single Danfoss AC drive with dynamic braking enable different capacity hoisting equipment within the same mast or rack. Drives can be installed either inside or on top the car. The drives also offer interfacing to lift controls and enable accurate landings to floors to increase safety.