What are the Most Popular Types of Elevators?

When it comes to installing a new elevator, most homeowners and business owners will have only an image or idea of the kind of unit they want. There are almost half a dozen types of elevators and most of them have further subtypes. If all the information about these systems confuse you, this guide is for you. There are four main types of elevators depending on their hoist mechanism. The main features of each one (and a few of their subtypes) are described here: Hydraulic Elevators These elevators will have a piston under the elevator for pushing it up. Most of the time, these units are installed in low-rise buildings which have 2 to 8 floors. They will have a machine room which is installed at the lowest level alongside the elevator shaft. These units further have two subtypes. - Holed Hydraulic Units – These units will have a sheave that goes further under the elevator pit’s floor. It will accept the retracting piston when the elevator comes down. New designs can have telescopic piston and don't require a deep hole. - Hole-Less Units – These units will have a piston on both sides. There are further three kinds of hole-less hydraulic elevators – telescopic, non-telescopic and roped units. Traction Elevators Also called pull elevators, these systems use ropes for lifting the units. The ropes will pass over a wheel fixed to a motor placed on top of the shaft. Traction elevators come next to hydraulic units, both in terms of speed and number of floors. They are used in buildings with mid to high rise design. These systems can also have counter weight for increasing efficiency. There are three subtypes to traction elevators: - Geared Traction – These units feature a gearbox fixed to the motor. It will drive the wheel which further moves the ropes. They can achieve high levels of traveling speeds – 500 fpm. - Gear-less Traction – In this case, the wheel is fixed directly to the motor. They can reach peak speeds of 2,000 fpm. - Machine-Room-Less – These are considered as simple traction elevators without machine room over the shaft. In this case, the machine is fit into an override area. The controls are kept on top of the ceiling close to the shaft. These units are increasingly becoming popular. But maintenance experts may not like them as much because service and repair requires working on ladders. Other units have machine rooms which are more easily accessible. Pneumatic Elevators These elevators are quite popular and are lifted and lowered through the control of air pressure. Usually, the air pressure is created in a compartment under the elevator. It will use turbines or vacuum pumps for pulling the cab to the higher floors. Release of air pressure will help in allowing the cab to come down. Pneumatic elevators are considered perfect for installing in your home if you don't want to dig and excavate for creating the hoistway or pit. They can be installed readily while saving you time, effort and costs. Climbing Elevator Climbing elevators will usually have a combustion engine or electric engine that powers the lift. These units are designed to be used in commercial settings like construction and work sites. These are also referred to as self-ascending elevators. They make it easier to access materials in construction sites and are mostly used in towers or masts. So if you are going to install a new elevator, whether in your home or commercial building, make sure to consider all these different options before making the right choice. Even though these are the standard systems in the industry, most of them can be customized according to your needs.