Elevators and Destination Dispatch Technology

  May 14, 2015

Elevator technology has advanced steadily over the past two decades, and some of those gains may help reduce energy use. Destination dispatch technology is a good example.

The primary purpose of destination dispatch is to efficiently move individuals to their destinations. Passengers indicate the floor they’re headed to and then are directed to the elevator that will transport them there as quickly as possible. So individuals headed to floors six through eight might be shepherded to one elevator, and those going to nine through 11, to another.

In theory, destination dispatch systems save energy and prevent some wear and tear on the elevators because they should be making fewer stops. Most of the studies of destination dispatch, however, have focused on reductions in wait times, not reductions in energy use, according to Joseph Caracappa, vice president with Sierra Consulting Group, Inc.

What would be key to energy savings is the way destination dispatch technology affects elevator performance during low-traffic times, says Jay Popp, executive vice president, international, with Lerch Bates. If the system has a passenger wait, say, an extra 15 seconds to get an elevator that's already in transit, rather than immediately sending a second elevator, it should save energy without inordinately affecting passenger service. Some systems also reduce elevator speed during low traffic times by, say, 10 percent. That also will save energy without affecting service, Popp adds.

This brief came from Karen Kroll.

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