The modernisation of elevators could help the ecology

Besides all advantages of the so modern ecological ("green") products, what can really make us choose something ecology-friendly is the quantity of saved electricity and the positive influence on our electricity bill. And when we speak about electricity savings the building managers are usually thinking about lighting, heating and air-conditioning as well as different types of isolation and optimizations. What about elevators? It's a common perception that elevators do not consume much energy, for sure less than the lighting for example. This might be true but in the high and frequently visited buildings, moreover in the modern ones, where the systems for air-conditioning and heating are optimized and energy efficient the elevators could be the biggest energy consumers. Most of the old buildings use elevator systems with technologies as of 1980, even older. They have never been modernized and for sure are a main item in the electricity bills. The opportunities for energy saving are one of the main directions in the modern elevator systems and solutions. They begin with different optimisations for energy efficiency but do not stop there. The elevators have huge constructive life in comparison to other products such as lighting systems and even modern roof systems. As a result the elevator services and producers offer programs and systems for modernisation which can raise many times the energy efficiency. Most commonly the old motors and knots are replaced with new products which are optimised for energy efficiency in a few ways: they use less energy when working and generate less heat which decreases the ventilation and air-conditioning expenditures. Although the regenerating systems are a standard in the newer elevator systems they might be added to many of the old ones. Exactly as in the hybrid motor vehicles the brake force could be transformed into usable energy, the regenerating systems power the energy system of the building with energy generated from the elevator. They work most efficiently when lifting light passengers and descending with heavy freights into the cabins. The brake operation of the counterweight when ascending and the cabin when descending are transformed into electricity which can be used to re-power systems in the building. Compared with the same elevator before the re-generator addition, the re-generator systems show average effectiveness of 40%. Besides the re-generators other systems can also save energy. For example, the modern motors can save up to 45% from the consumed traditional energy. The elevator services also replace the lighting in the cabin with energy efficient one. The least that can be replaced is the normal light-bulb with an energy saving one or light-emitting diode one. But the elevator maintenance companies go even further than that - they place sensors which turn off the lights in the cabin and the ventilation when the elevator is not being used. Just think about it - if the lights are on for 24 hours for 30 years this definitely costs more than placing systems for its turning off. No one keeps their lights on in their own bathroom if they are not inside, right? Research shows that a system for turning off the lights can save up to 350 KWh annually depending on the elevator's use. New construction. When elevators are installed in new buildings many of the the energy saving systems are already built in.* Elevators without machine department use less energy for ventilation and cooling down and less heat emissions in comparison to these with machine departments.* The new technologies of the motors and their drive can also save up to 70% electricity in comparison with these in traditional elevators.* Re-generators became a standard.* Microprocessor-controlled elevators save energy compared to the traditional consuming energy mechanical relays. Old buildings. Other green options could be implemented to older systems. An example is the usage of biodegradable oils in hydraulic systems. The replacement of old motors with new ones not only reduces the energy bills but also improves the air quality in the building.  The replacement of the whole elevator is a cardinal decision but an expensive one and many organizations and residential buildings just cannot afford it. However, the incorporation of some of the energy saving systems described above can make it possible for the electricity expenses to decrease and the air quality in the building to improve. All this is enough for someone to start living in conformity with the laws of nature.