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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #1
ZZ-II
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New Worlds Tallest Lift Shaft

Worlds Tallest Lift Shaft Opens In Japan
Published on 2008-01-03 by Skyscrapernews.com


The world's tallest elevator testing shaft has opened in Inazawa City, Japan.

Named SOLAÉ, the 173 metre tall structure has been built by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for 5 billion Japanese Yen (45 million USD) for testing the next generation of high-speed lifts in.

As buildings such as the Burj Dubai have pushed ever taller in height the requirements for elevator manufacturers has grown with the present crop of super-tall skyscrapers pushing at the present technological limits.

Not only does the technology need to become ever faster as buildings get taller to stop occupants spending several minutes in a journey to the top, but the higher speeds and rapid changes in altitude present problems for human beings with technology such as pressured lifts needed to stop ears from popping and improved sound dampening to deal with noises caused by higher speeds in a narrow shaft.

Other problems include improved aerodynamics of the cars to reduce their energy use when being lifted up the shaft and improvements to the durability of equipment that can be reduced by higher speeds.

Reflecting this high-tech research is the actual look of the tower. There is none of the unattractive industrial utilitarian look about it that the elevator shafts of old have, instead SOLAÉ is a gracefully clad stem that works as a building in its own right with a wide base that tapers smoothly into the main body.

Not to be left out, the Chinese are building a 128 metre tall testing tower of their own in Wuhan with a difference - it will employ magnetic levitation technology, or Maglev for short.

By applying the principles of magnetic levitation currently used in the Transrapid Shanghai Maglev train to a vertical instead of horizontal plane they hope to develop an elevator system without cables, gears and counterweights that can even generate electricity as it goes down to power elevator cars moving up. It would also allow elevators to move along a curve instead of a rigid line, something that is currently impossible.

Both the Chinese and Japanese projects offer a future where we will be able to build as never before, both taller and less conventionally whilst moving through tall buildings in greater comfort.

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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #2
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Quite scary to have a lift without cables. What if the system fails? Would there be other safety mechanisms to prevent a lift car from falling 50 stories to the ground?
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Old January 14th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Quite scary to have a lift without cables. What if the system fails? Would there be other safety mechanisms to prevent a lift car from falling 50 stories to the ground?
for sure . i'll try to search some information about the new lifts
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