General elevator types and their uses.
Elevators changed the world. The World’s highest building a century ago was the Woolworth Building with a height of 241 m., which is an early skyscraper located in Manhattan. Today the tallest active building is the Burj Khalifa with 829,8 m and there are hundreds of skyscrapers all around the world, thanks to the developed, high-tech elevators. But elevators, not of course as we know today, date back to early times of humankind. The simple aim of an elevator is to hoist a load and anything that is used for lifting can be defined as an elevator.
So, what types of elevators exist? And which one is used for what reasons. When we say elevator types, there are different kinds of elevator types and classification. The types of elevators can group as:
- Elevator controller types,
- Elevator types according to purpose,
- Elevator car/cabin types,
- Elevator types according to the speed,
- Elevator machine types,
- Elevator types according to the machine room,
and there are more groupings according to variables. The most important and common elevator classification is about the machine. The hydraulic elevators, traction elevators, MR, and MRL elevators are some types of elevators that we have explained in another article. In this article, we will talk about the usage types or types of purpose about the elevators. But before that, we will give the evolving period groups.
Elevator Types of History
From the most primitive pulley system to high-speed electric ones, elevators are powered by some different means of energy. We can group the evolution as hoist, steam hydraulic, and electric motors.
The root of hoists dates back to the third century of the B.C. era. They were primitive hoists powered by humans, animals, or special water systems. There was a combination of pulleys and ropes for hoisting people or loads (especially rocks at that time) for big construction like the pyramids. As we are grateful to the high-tech elevators for the modern skyscrapers, ancient people were grateful to the hoists for the great works of art.
Steam Hydraulic Systems
The biggest invention of the industrial revolution which created the modern world was the steam machine that was invented by James Watt in 1763. This breakthrough invention started the era of the machines. And of course, steam power used for the early industrial elevators in order to lift bulk materials like lumber and coals from factories and mines. Teagle Elevator, one of the masterpieces of that time used a counterweight to give extra power. The steam-powered elevators helped to create innovations like elevator shafts and led the way to elevator machines of the modern world.
As electricity entered into modern daily life, it didn’t require waiting a long time to use it for machine technology. German inventor Werner von Siemens created the first electric motor elevator that was safer, faster, and more efficient than its predecessor steam elevators in 1880. Frank Sprague added some important features like safety, floor control, acceleration control, and some other crucial equipment that leads our modern elevators of today.
General Elevator Types
This is the power evolution of the elevators. Today, most of the elevators use electricity for power. But also, different types like hydraulic elevators are also used for some special purposes. The purpose is the key factor to determine the type of elevator. Today, for deciding about the appropriate type of an elevator, we should define the location and the aim. According to these criteria, elevator types are:
- Passenger elevators,
- Freight elevators,
- Vehicle/Car elevators,
- Sidewalk elevators,
- Stage lift,
- Boat lift,
- Residential elevators,
- Patient elevators,
- Disabled elevators,
- Aircraft elevators,
Most of these are very well known, some of them are for some special purposes, and some of them are outdated that doesn’t have a usage today. So let’s learn more about them:
These are the most common and used elevators that we see in our daily life. Today, almost every building that has more than 4 or 5 floors have a passenger elevator. From building elevators to high-speed skyscraper elevators, different kinds of them exist. Today most of them include the latest technology and luxury that are state of art visual, music, communication systems, and many more others.
This is the oldest purpose of elevators which is to lift the heavy load. These elevators are slow and wide and mostly preferred for industrial purposes. Most of them are hydraulic/electricity hybrid-powered elevators in order to have a big load capacity.
The purpose of a vehicle or car elevator is simple, lifting your car. These types of elevators are mostly used for parking issues. This may be a public park place in order to use the existing space more efficiently or in residences for lifting vehicles to the parking lots. Or for some luxury, people take their cars with themselves to their apartments in their skyscrapers, because they don’t want to leave them.
This is a typical freight elevator, but also have direct access to the sidewalk in order to load/unload cargo easily. Sidewalk elevators are mostly preferred in industrial areas like big factories.
Stage lift is a very special and rare elevator type that lower and raises the sections of a theater stage.
These are typical elevators that hoist boats in order to help the maintenance of small boats. There are also some special types located at canals that raise and lower the water level.
These are a special kind of passenger elevator. The only difference is residential elevators are for private home elevators that are smaller and has less capacity.
As mentioned in the name these are located at hospitals. They look like passenger and freight elevators, but they are more sensitive elevators because they carry patients. They are big enough to carry the stretchers, fast enough to carry the patients for emergency and sensitive enough not to disturb the users.
These have the main purpose to carry the wheelchair of a handicapped person. They are special and sensitive types of passenger elevators.
The main purpose of these elevators is the carry the aircraft from a lower place, like hangar to the flight path. These are mainly at the aircraft carrier ships and used for lifting aircraft to the flight deck.
This is a very special freight elevator, but very small and used to carry loads of waiters. These panel-like elevators are mostly located at restaurants and some luxurious residences and used to transport food from floor to floor.
This is a very special and old-fashioned type of passenger elevator generally popular in Germany and the Czech Republic. This is a special rotating loop that carries people between the floors it turns. They are not for use anymore because of the poor safety conditions. Only some nostalgic ones are still active.
These are the main types of elevators according to the purpose. Deciding about an elevator is not an easy task and needs complicated calculations and assistance that require professional assistance. ISF Elevator Company is a well experienced and frontier in the elevator industry. Special assistance for special needs like vehicle elevators can be achieved only by professional and experienced personnel. In order to have the best quality at reasonable prices, you can always contact us and let us help you to supply all your needs. Think big and leave the rest to us.