Buildings, particularly in cities with higher population density, are growing increasingly tall. This contributes to furthering innovation and economic growth as it enables businesses to cluster, which facilitates collaboration and communication. In this era of metropolitan verticality, though, how do we surmount the many physical and technical challenges faced in enhancing the comfort of travel in ultra-high-speed elevators? We at Mitsubishi Electric answered that question with a technological feat we call the Active Roller Guide System.
A First-Class Technological Achievement Befitting the World’s Finest Elevators
As buildings stretch ever higher into the sky, their elevators need to move that much faster, to reduce time spent both waiting and traveling between floors. With the increase in speed, however, come issues such as rattling and shaking. Caused in most cases by factors such as minor deformations in guide rails—which emerge over time with elevators that travel more slowly—rattling and shaking can become more pronounced as speeds rise. Another source of shaking is the wind force that is generated when two elevator cars pass each other.
To minimize the rattling and shaking experienced by passengers on high-speed elevators, we have created the Active Roller Guide System.
A Record-setting Achievement in Urban Mobility
Our Active Roller Guide System incorporates four roller guides, with two each installed above and beneath the elevator car. But the key feature of this technology is the use of acceleration sensors, installed above and beneath the car and its frame, to detect vibration. The actuators inside the roller guides enable them to counter the vibration with an electromagnetic damping action in the opposite direction, helping to neutralize the effect. And, as the actuators are of the linear motor type, they are very energy efficient.
The Active Roller Guide System is installed in our ultra-high-speed elevators in the Shanghai Tower—known as the world’s fastest—and is providing passengers with smooth transport between floors at the staggering speed of 20.5 meters per second!
Dedicated to Pursuing Unprecedented Safety, Quietness and Comfort
Our achievements in elevator technology extend even beyond the Active Roller Guide System. Prior to installing the ultra-high-speed elevators in Shanghai Tower, in the interest of lowering the noise generated as wind passes the car, we conducted a host of tests and determined that most of the noise was created around the upper corners of the car. To combat this, we have newly developed a streamlined upper aerodynamic cover integrated with the roller guide cover, which helps direct wind more efficiently around the car, leading to a significant decrease in noise. As buildings in urban areas reach ever higher into the sky, we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of higher quality, enhanced safety, peace of mind and riding comfort, and improved energy efficiency.
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