How Does a Traction Elevator System Work?
Traction elevators utilize an electric motor and gearbox located at the top of the hoistway to provide lifting power. The motor is connected to a sheave. When the motor turns one way, the sheave raises the elevator; when it turns the other way, it lowers the elevator.
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The car is lifted by chains that run over pulleys at the top of the hoistway and then attach to a counterweight. The counterweight hangs on the other side of the sheave and is balanced with the car. The purpose of the balance is to conserve energy. With equal force on each side of the sheave, it only takes a little force to tip the balance to raise or lower the elevator car. This means the motor can be smaller and quieter.
Both the elevator car and counterweight ride on guide rails along the side of the elevator shaft. The rails keep the car and counterweight from swaying back and forth along the sides of the elevator shaft and work with the safety system to stop the car in an emergency.
The motor of a traction elevator utilizes a variable frequency drive that allows the motor to ramp up and down smoothly with an elevator controller that can be mounted in the hoistway, eliminating the need for a machine room.
The benefits of a traction elevator include the no-machine room design, energy efficiency, lower cost and a smooth start/stop. The no-machine room quality saves space in your home and cost in materials. The smaller motor utilizes less energy. The traction elevator is ideal for three or more levels, with the cost of increased travel much less than hydraulic elevators. Traction elevators are more versatile than hydraulic elevators and typically have more safety systems.