Company News, 2014-11-18, 01:01 PM
Elevator technologies are key in ensuring sustainability in smart cities of the future
With buildings responsible for 40% of the world’s energy consumption, of which up to 10% of the buildings electrical consumption is attributed to elevators alone, new elevator technologies are crucial in securing significant energy savings: up to 27% energy reductions are possible, usable floor space can be increased by up to 30%, and elevators can also aid in energy self-sufficiency in buildings. As its latest contribution in innovative elevator technologies, ThyssenKrupp launches STUDIO, a counterweight-less elevator solution capable of increasing passenger capacities in the same available space.
ThyssenKrupp, participating in the 2014 Smart City Expo world congress in Barcelona from November 18-21, presents its latest technologies for smart cities of the future at this event. From solutions that improve how people move within a city and inside buildings, to products that help transit authorities attract additional passengers and aid building operators to increase available floor space and reduce energy consumption, the company presents a wide gamut of solutions suited to smart cities aiming to be environmentally and economically sustainable.
Representative of such urban spaces, ThyssenKrupp City is a virtual recreation of a city that has solved the mobility challenges posed by geographic constraints and rapid urbanization. Integrating a variety of the company’s solutions, including elevators, escalators, moving walks, and access solutions, as well as innovative passenger transportation systems like ACCEL, ThyssenKrupp City shows how these innovative technologies can be applied to create accessible, intelligent, and energy-efficient mobility in cities. Viewers can observe an operational city on a scale model and interact with the touch-screen multimedia application to display information about ThyssenKrupp’s mobility products for cities and buildings.
Commenting on the need for innovative mobility solutions, Dr. Reinhold Achatz, Head of Corporate Function Technology, Innovation and Sustainability at ThyssenKrupp AG, said, “By the end of this century, the first metropolitan century in the history of the Earth, the global population is expected to reach between 10 and 11 billion people, with around 70% of the world inhabiting urban spaces. Keeping these figures in mind, and factoring in the challenges that urbanization represents for natural resources, space, and energy – 40% of global energy is consumed in buildings –, it is more imperative than ever that the choices we make today about developing our cities are sustainable ones, and leave a lasting, positive impact on the generations to come. At this pivotal juncture, it should be the aim of us all to make our cities the best places to live that humankind has ever created”.
ThyssenKrupp’s engagement with the Smart City Expo world congress will also include the participation of Dr. Reinhold Achatz in the plenary session panel discussion on renewable energy, along with representatives of institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, IBM, the Free University of Brussels, and Groningen Municipal Council.
Be it providing access to or inside airports, metros and train stations, in leisure areas, private homes, apartments, or businesses and mixed-use buildings, cities of the future require fast, convenient, and safe mobility solutions that make life easier for its inhabitants in a practical and sustainable way.
The company’s solutions for smart mobility in cities includes its new transportation system, ACCEL, which is capable of attracting up to 30% additional passengers to existing metro networks and improving transit times between airport gates, as well as the InnoCity solutions and InCar plus technologies, which draw on ThyssenKrupp’s strengths in steel production and car components, and combine these with cutting-edge passenger transportation systems and eco-friendly technologies.
For improving mobility within buildings, ThyssenKrupp’s technologies include TWIN, operating with two cabins per shaft and providing a 30% reduction of the elevator footprint in buildings; chairlifts designed with the involvement of end users as well as experts like occupational therapists; and an escalator portfolio that merges modern design with functionality and durability, catering to every building configuration.
ThyssenKrupp’s latest solution for improving mobility within buildings is STUDIO, a counterweight-less elevator that releases shaft space for larger cabins and facilitates easier modernization in old buildings. This product, launched at the Smart City Expo, eliminates the need for a traditional elevator counterweight, thus enabling more efficient use of space, increasing capacities, and allowing for elevator installations in previously unviable locations.
For energy efficiency in buildings, ThyssenKrupp is implementing a predictive maintenance application using Microsoft’s Internet of Things solutions. This product dramatically improves elevator reliability and safety through a connected, intelligent line-of-business asset monitoring system. Other energy efficiency solutions include regenerative braking products, capable of reducing a building’s energy needs by approximately 30%, and Destination Dispatch, an advanced dispatching system that reduces travel times and elevator congestion while improving efficiency and handling capacities.
As the need for sustainable urbanization is one that we can no longer ignore, the cost effectiveness of developing sustainable cities largely relies on integrated planning that involves all service areas, including construction, design, and maintenance life-cycle costs. In this regard, energy has become a substantial cost factor for every building, and the ability to introduce new mobility technologies in existing structures significantly improves their energy self-sufficiency, thereby also improving their cost effectiveness.
Taking into consideration the upward trend of buildings, now going up to 1,000 meters, elevators, escalators, and moving walkways play an important part in creating sustainable and self-sufficient structures that dramatically reduce the overall energy used in buildings. The key factor in their contribution to sustainability is that it is not just environmental, but also economical, thereby appealing to all stakeholders in the urbanization process.