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60km/h lifts will be world’s fastest

29 February, 2012

Mitsubishi Electric claims to have developed the world’s fastest lift technology, using permanent magnet motors to propel lift cars at speeds of more than 60km/h (1,000m per minute). The technology will be used for all 106 lifts in the 632m-tall Shanghai Tower (below) now taking shape in China.

The lift motors have been designed for efficient, low-noise and low-vibration operation. Each motor has two grouped three-phase coils and parallel drive systems controlled by separate control panels. They will have a regenerative capability, reducing power consumption by up to 30%.

Because of the high operating speeds, a two-stage braking system has been developed to control the kinetic energy if the lift cables break. Hydraulically-operated clamp-type disk brakes, actuated by safety gears, will grasp onto guide rails to slow the car down. The brakes are made of a ceramic material that resists heat, abrasion and shock, and is said to be stable even when subjected to high levels of frictional heat. 

If the lift is still moving when it reaches the bottom of a shaft, it will hit a hydraulic oil buffer with an advanced three-stage plunger designed to absorb high levels of shock extremely quickly.

For passenger comfort and to reduce noise levels, the lift cars are surrounded by a streamlined aerodynamic cover, while air pressure control helps to minimise ear discomfort. An active roller guide system will reduce vibration caused by the guide rails and air movements, even at extremely high speeds.

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