Hitachi Ltd and Hitachi Elevator (China) Co Ltd have recently announced that they are to deliver the world’s fastest ultra-high-speed elevator, travelling at speeds of up to 1,200 m/min (72 km/h).
The revolutionary new design will be installed at the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou, China, whisking passengers from first to 95th floor in approximately 43 seconds along a 440-metre shaft. Without their ears popping.
According to Hitachi’s press release, the elevator “will feature technologies that support safe and comfortable elevator operation, in addition to the drive and control technologies needed to attain the world’s fastest speed. Through these technologies, Hitachi will ensure that the elevator will provide passengers with a comfortable ride even when operated at high speeds”.
A BBC News article quotes Hitachi as saying that the lift design would prevent ear blockages by artificially altering air pressure in the car. Guiding rollers that adapt to warping caused by wind pressure would mean the ride remained smooth, and brakes able to resist extreme heat would activate in the “unlikely” event of a malfunction.
Hitachi says it has developed a permanent magnet synchronous motor that achieves both a thin profile and the high output needed to attain a speed of 1,200 m/min. It also claims to have “successfully developed a compact traction machine by lightening the load on the traction machine through reducing the weight of the system by reducing the main rope diameter while increasing the rope’s strength”.
Hitachi is to install a total of 95 elevators at Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in time for the 530-metre skyscraper’s official opening in 2016. These will include two of the world’s fastest elevators as described above, and 28 double-decker elevators.
According to BBC News the current holder of the ‘fastest lift in the world’ record is the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan. Its lift sends passengers from fifth to 89th floor in 37 seconds, a speed of 1,010 m/min.