The future of elevators has arrived: elevators that travel sideways like something out of Harry Potter. However, there is no magic involved with ThyssenKrupp’s technology. It’s all about science and meeting the changing needs of today’s rising buildings. Known as a multi, these residential elevators are designed to travel in the direction needed whether that’s up or down or to the left or right.
The ThyssenKrupp multi actually even goes diagonally, but how? By getting rid of the cables that traditional elevators use to suspend them in their shafts. These elevators use magnetic levitation, which does admittedly have a bit of a magical sound to it. However, the technology is the same as what is used for high-speed trains. Each car has strong magnets and a magnetized coil that runs through the hoist way’s guide rails allowing the elevator cars to float. When the coils are turned on or off, the magnetic fields become stronger so that the coils can pull the cars in the desired direction.
The elevators move through exchangers that guide the car direction. “Slings”, or bearings are mounted on the car so it can change directions. Although the multi isn’t necessarily about speed, it definitely allows the elevators to move more efficiently reaching speeds from 1,000 to 1,400 feet per minute. This allows the car to move at a fair pace without interfering with passenger comfort. Once an elevator moves fasters than 2,000 feet per minute people can experience nausea and ear issues.
Multis are designed with the goal of increasing the volume of rides and moving passengers more efficiently. By ridding the elevators of their cumbersome cables, elevators can be “stacked” so that when someone pushes a button to call for an elevator, the closest car arrives within 30 seconds. The system is managed like a rail line, with the elevators riding on a grid and moving in and out of use in the most efficient manner possible to meet passenger demand.
Developers in the mega building sector are chomping at the bit to get their hands on this technology. As buildings become higher, the demand for elevator efficiency is paramount. It allows architects to get more creative in how they position and design elevators in modern, more complex building designs.
Instead of being stuck to the basic elevator shaft concept, they can literally think out of the box, or elevator cabin if you will, and come up with ways to place elevators in a manner that will free up space. Considering the standard elevator takes up 40 percent of a building’s core, the possibilities of more efficient space allotment are very promising.
With the introduction of the multi, buildings will fit into their surroundings more organically. People will feel fluidness when transported from street to building and ground to the floors towering above. There will be less division in how buildings interact with humans with fewer limitations on how they reach their destination.