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2024 June 2

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Gearless Elevators

Gearless Elevators are systems where the motor operates without using a gearbox. In these systems, an inverter or speed control drive is utilized to regulate the speed of the traction sheave. This type of elevator motor is of the permanent magnet variety, offering higher efficiency than geared motors. Older gearless elevators used DC motors that allowed precise control of positive and negative acceleration curves. However, modern technology employs AC motors, leveraging permanent magnet construction and electronic advances.

Gearless Elevators (gearless traction elevators) are a type of electric elevator where the motor is directly connected to the pulley without using mechanical gears to transfer power. These elevators are particularly popular in tall buildings and large residential and commercial towers due to their numerous advantages.

 

Types of Gearless Motors

  • Permanent Magnet AC Motor
  • Variable Voltage and Frequency AC Motor
  • Variable Voltage DC Motor

Differences Between Gearless and Geared Elevator Motors

The most noticeable difference between gearless and geared elevators is the reduced vibration and shaking in gearless elevators due to the absence of a gearbox. Gearless motors do not require lubrication, whereas the lack of timely lubrication can damage geared motors.

Regarding motor speed, gearless elevators operate at around 150 RPM, generating less noise compared to geared motors operating at around 1500 RPM. Additionally, geared motors in busy buildings heat up more quickly, causing temperature sensors to shut the motor off automatically for cooling. Gearless motors typically do not have this overheating issue.

Geared motors require two to three times more force to start compared to gearless motors. Efficiency-wise, gearless motors boast a 98% efficiency rate, significantly higher than the 50% efficiency of geared motors, meaning geared motors consume twice as much energy.

Gearless motors are also smaller and lighter than geared motors, making them easier to install in machine room-less (MRL) elevators.

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Advantages of Gearless Elevator Motors

  • Easy installation
  • Requires less space due to smaller size
  • 98% efficiency rate
  • No need for constant lubrication
  • Performs well during peak traffic hours
  • No need for a cooling system
  • Can be installed without a machine room
  • Durable components with a long lifespan
  • Quiet operation
  • High-quality elevator movement

Disadvantages of Gearless Elevator Motors

  • High initial cost (although cost-effective in the long run)
  • Requires precision in selecting components
  • Poor performance in industrial environments with harmful particles
  • Requires a position sensor (encoder)
  • Strong brakes are needed for independent stopping in emergencies due to the lack of a gearbox
  • Installation and setup must be done by specialists
  • Lack of sufficient experience and information among elevator companies and service technicians
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Components of a Gearless Elevator Motor

  • Each gearless elevator motor consists of the following components:

    • Drive motor
    • Traction sheave
    • Frame
    • Direct current rotor or armature
    • Protective bearings
    • Magnetic brake

     

    Some parts, such as gears, worms, high-speed bearings, flywheels, and couplings, are not present in gearless motors. These motors also do not require oil or lubrication.

Development and Features of Gearless Elevator Motors

  • In the 1980s, the gearless elevator motor emerged as a result of advancements addressing the shortcomings of earlier elevator motor models. Gearless motors, also known as AC motors, control the output voltage and frequency to ensure smooth elevator movement.

    The development of gearless motors has progressed to the extent that, although only a few companies produced compatible equipment a few years ago, now many companies worldwide can design and manufacture equipment compatible with gearless elevator motors. Due to the exceptional advantages of gearless motors, there is an increasing trend among elevator companies to adopt this technology.

    While the internal mechanism of gearless motors is better suited for high-speed elevators (usually around 2.5 meters per second), they are also commonly used in lower-speed elevators.

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Features of AC Motors

  • AC motors offer more advanced technology compared to other types, resulting in higher mechanical efficiency than geared traction motors. Additionally, the electrical efficiency of AC motors surpasses that of induction traction motors (DC). Permanent magnet motors are smaller in size and require less space, eliminating the need for a large machine room and allowing for machine room-less (MRL) installation.

    Another significant advantage of these motors is that their maintenance costs are relatively low, requiring less frequent and extensive maintenance. Their specific construction also results in fewer breakdowns, thus reducing repair costs.

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