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Hydraulic elevators

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Hydraulic 01

Conventional roped hydraulic diagram (but missing the govenor)

Hydraulic elevators are elevators which are powered by a piston that travels inside a cylinder. An electric motor pumps oil into the cylinder to move the piston. The piston smoothly lifts the elevator cab. Electrical valves control the release of the oil for a gentle descent.

Hydraulic elevators are used extensively in buildings up to five or six stories high. These elevators, which can operate at speeds up to 61 meters (200 ft) per minute, do not use the large overhead hoisting machinery the way geared and gearless traction systems do.

All modern hydraulic pumps are either equipped with a Solid-State Contactor or a mechanical Y-Delta starter.  Solid-State Contactor statrers are better for the motor and the building's power supply, as the windings last longer and there are no voltage drops across the line of the building's power supply. Y-Delta starters use two contactors to start the motor on a reduced speed, then kick on full speed. Old hydraulic elevators just started up abruptly, sending mains power at full blast right into the motor. This puts a lot of strain on the motor which, in turn, makes it burn out faster than motors on Y-Delta or Solid-State Contactor starters.

There are three types of hydraulic elevator; holed hydraulic, holeless hydraulic and roped hydraulic.

Holed hydraulic

With holed hydraulic systems, the elevator car is mounted on a piston that travels inside a cylinder. The cylinder extends into the ground to a depth equal to the height the elevator will rise. As hydraulic fluid is pumped into the cylinder through a valve, the car rises. As the fluid returns to the reservoir, the car descends.

Holeless hydraulic

Holeless hydraulic consists of pistons mounted inside the hoistway to raise and lower the car. This is especially a solution for buildings built in bedrock, a high water table or unstable soil conditions locations that can make digging the hole required for a conventional hydraulic elevator impractical. Holeless hydraulic systems use a direct-acting piston to raise the car.

Roped hydraulic

Roped hydraulic elevator extends the rise of the holeless elevator to 18 meters (60 ft), without the need for a belowground cylinder. Roped hydraulic elevator systems have the piston attached to a sheave which has a rope passing through it. One end is attached to the car while the other is secured at the bottom of the hoistway. Also, roped hydraulic systems require a governor because the rope is holding the car up.

Benefits of hydraulic elevators

Detriments of hydraulic elevators

Older hydraulic elevators may have a risk of leaking hydraulic oil into the aquifer and causing potential environmental contamination. This has led to the introduction of PVC liners (casings) around hydraulic cylinders which can be monitored for integrity. Additionally, Older hydraulic elevator systems are usually make a motor outside the tank and cause the noise when the motor is running (this system no longer exist in the hydraulic elevators installed in mid-1990s or later when the submersible hydraulic power unit introduced which placed the motor inside the tank to make some of the motor sound were isolated in the oil tank).

In 2007, Kone announced that the company would stop manufacturing and producing hydraulic elevators due to environmental concern, therefore replacing them with the eco-friendly MonoSpace and EcoSpace elevators. This makes Kone the first elevator company to only produce traction elevators. Also, some other elevator manufacturers has stopped produce hydraulic elevators due to the same reason.

Notable hydraulic elevator models

Gallery

Notes and References

External links

Elevator 

Drive systems: Traction • Hydraulic


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See Also: Elevator Fixtures Guide • List of elevator and escalator companiesUnlucky floor numbers • Elevator incidents and accidents

Elevator drive systems
Traction (M.R.L.) • Hydraulic (Oildraulic)
Reference: hkelev - Elevator drive systems

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