The earliest humans lived in caves, but as the species began to build structures, they have only aimed for higher. In 1931, the New York Empire State Building was the tallest in the world with its 381 meters, and the tallest skyscrapers we see today are touching skies above 800 meters (Burj Khalifa 828 m). While advanced engineering techniques and incredible contributions of Fazlur Rahman Khan have made the high rise buildings possible, another problem rose with the elevators.
When the buildings went higher, ascending stairs became a hassle and then came the elevators. World’s first commercial elevator by the Otis Elevator Company climbed with a speed of 40 feet per minute. At those speeds, you would be spending half your day in the elevator if you lived in a 100-storey building. With Hitachi’s ultra-high-speeds elevator, rising to the top of buildings will feel like a breeze. The world’s fastest elevator demonstrated speeds of 47 mph (76 km/h, 1,260 m/min) when tested in the Guangzhou city of China.
The Guangzhou CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou employs elevators that run at top speeds of 44.7 mph (72 km/h, 1,200 m/min )covering the 440 meters in height between the ground and the 95th floor in just 43 seconds. Apparently, that is not enough and Hitachi is out on a mission to make it even better.
Hitachi has installed the modified control units and safety devices in the building, and National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Center has conducted the tests, confirming speeds of 1,260 meters a minute. When the elevator goes into service, the speed will be brought down to the rated top speed of 1,200 meters per minute.
The ultra-high speeds of the Hitachi elevators are obtained by the use of the permanent magnet synchronous motor, stronger main ropes, and a control unit capable of dealing with the speed demand. While it is easy to accelerate an elevator, stopping it is a complex task. High heat resistance breaks are installed in the elevators to deal with emergency stops and the air pressure adjustment technology helps protect your ears from popping.
The company says they will develop future, faster models based on these high-speeds tests.