It was nearly invisible but in 2017, 2 years after Mitsubishi, Hitachi made the fastest elevator in the world.
We will use this opportunity to look at this speed race again.
- In 1931: Otis. The elevators of the Empire State Building reach 7,1 m/s. They keep the title of the fastest for a long time.
- In 1972: Otis again. For the second time, Otis elevators became the fastest with The World Trade Center of New York with a speed of 10,2 m/s.
Later, the japanese will join the race with a tower in Yokohama.
- In 1993: Mitsubishi. In Yokohama, the Landmark Tower break the record with a speed of 12,5 m/s.
- In 2004: Toshiba. The Taipei 101 Tower became the higher tower in the world with 101 floors and 508 meters. Its elevators run at 16,83 m/s.
The Burj Khalifa Tower of Dubai became the highest tower in the world in 2009 with a high of 829 meters. Its elevators move at a speed of 10 m/s.
- In 2015: Mitsubishi. A new speed record is establish in the Shanghai Tower with its elevators running at 18 m/s.
- In June, 2nd 2017: Hitachi. They did a test to capture the top speed of the elevator of CTF Finance in Guangzhou. They were able to reach 21m/s.
Hitachi explain on their website the characteristics
- Synchronous motor with permanent magnet. This is the technology that step up since the Monospace of Kone in 1996.
- High resistance and light weight ropes.
- A braking system capable of survive in high temperatures.
- A guidance by active rollers with a magnetic system allowing an acceleration control.
- An air pressure control in the cabin.
In term of use, to be able to travel from 10 m/s to 20 m/s is not worth the different of price.
In fact, the acceleration must be limited to 1,2 m/s (or 0,12 g) to avoid the sensation of high gravity.
We do not have the training of an astronaut to resist such pressure.
To reach 20 m/s, an elevator must travel 200 meters to reach its full speed and same distance to stop.
For example, for a distance of 450 meters, the fastest elevator will take 45 seconds and a 10 m/s will arrive only 15 seconds later.
In the end, this speed race was a race of prestige. But this race gain some innovation in the industry. Now, who will beat this record ? Some annonce a reasonable top speed of 25 m/s. It could be a new challenger who will put a few millions of euros on the table to achieve this goal. For example, there were more than 40 Mitsubishi engineer who worked on the project from 2011 to 2016. Last detail, the future highest tower of the world (more than 1000 meters) in Jeddah will be equipped by Kone Double Girder Bridge elevators with a speed of 10 m/s. In France, the fastests elevators are in the Areva Tower. They are build by Kone and they travel at 7 m/s. Today in France, most elevators travel at 1 m/s and until 2,5 m/s in higher buildings and in the Eiffel Tower.