When it comes to the usage of power, all escalators are not made equal. The larger an escalator is, the better it rises and the wider its steps are, the more energy it would consume. In terms of the number of visitors it receives, it also makes a difference.
Escalators, like elevators, have a wide variety of power usage options. According to a consultant, a typical escalator in a shopping mall, which has a 7.5 horsepower motor, rises 15 feet above the ground and is kept working 14 hours a day, six days a week could use around 7,500 kilowatt-hours. Now, you might be wondering where does the escalator gets its energy from?
Things you should know about escalators
- Usually, escalators operate at a constant speed, unless you slow one down to cut down your energy bills. As more people board up an escalator, the motor will have to work harder to keep everything going at the same speed. The motor consumes more electricity because it pulls a greater current.
- In the case of a down escalator, the current and power used decreases as passengers board them. When occupancy is detected, sensors activate the escalator, which runs for a defined amount of time after the person has arrived at their destination.
- The most proficient method to transport big groups of people is to use escalators. Airports, bus and train stations, commercial and office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, universities, and government buildings are all examples of where they are employed. The energy consumption of an escalator is determined by the step width (which is related to the peak load carrying capacity), traffic patterns, control type, annual running hours, and vertical increase. A 15-foot-high shopping center escalator that runs 14 hours a day/6 days a week might utilize 4,000 to 10,000 kWh per year. A 20-foot rise on a larger escalator in a hotel or convention center, a machine that runs continuously may use 31,000 kWh per year. An escalator with a 35-foot lift at an airport might require around 60,000 kWh per year.
How to conserve energy while operating escalators?
- There are various methods for conserving energy while using escalators. Stop-and-go operations are possible when there is little or no traffic. When the elevator is not in use, it turns off. Again, it turns on when the pressure mats, photocells, or infrared beams detect the presence of a passenger. The elevator must have a soft-start feature so that it can gradually increase to its full operational speed. Building codes may prohibit this kind of operation, and it is frequently discouraged due to liability concerns. Those who come across a stop should be aware that it is a sign of an impending issue. When people see an escalator that isn’t moving, they often assume it’s broken.
- Slowing down the elevator when there are no passengers is a viable option. Energy savings of 15% to 40% can be achieved by installing variable speed drives or using variable voltage motor controllers. With medium traffic, this option is handy. On extensively used down escalators, regenerative braking can be used, and LED light sources can be placed for skirt guard, comb, and rail illumination. Improvements in lighting alone can save between 1,600 and 2,000 kWh per year.
- Escalators do generate some great scope for the purpose of saving energy if one can make out how to reduce energy consumption when they move along without any load. Motor efficiency can be regulated by controlling the escalators.
Of course, escalator get their energy from the electric connection of the building. The overall consumption largely depends on a number of factors, as discussed in this post. Also, there are different ways to cut down this energy consumption.