Graphene Cuts Elevator Energy Consumption in Half

Skeleton Technologies, the European market leader for ultracapacitors and energy storage systems for transportation and grid applications, is entering into a strategic partnership with the Spanish company Epic Power to reduce the power consumption of elevators by up to 50%, enabling significant cost savings. The system is already in use in a number of public, residential, and commercial buildings throughout Europe.

Usually, the counterweight to be calculated in elevator construction consists of the empty mass of the elevator car plus half the payload. This means that the elevator can recover energy both when it is loaded going down and when the empty elevator car is driven up via the elevator motor. This energy is lost when braking systems are used. The regenerative return of energy to the grid is only possible via a regenerative frequency drive (VVVF). The best solution here is to use the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) powered by Skeleton Technologies’ graphene ultracapacitors to recirculate and store the energy. This energy can then be recalled from the ultracapacitor pack when the elevator consumes again.

Elevator KERS

The KERS can be applied to new installations or retrofitted to existing lifts. As a rule, the systems have a capacity of up to 15 KW. If, however, a higher demand for stored energy is necessary, it can be achieved by installing multiple systems in parallel.

"There are around 640,000 passenger elevators and 110,000 freight elevators in use in Germany today. Even with cautious estimates, hundreds of millions of elevator trips take place every day - an enormous energy requirement that should be supported by modern storage systems", explains Taavi Madiberk, the CEO of Skeleton Technologies.

“Ultracapacitors and the innovation Skeleton Technologies has brought to the market is not only a great technology, but make a great business case. Ultracapacitors provide a high power density and amazing durability. With optimized sizing, plug-and-play functionalities, and the best possible efficiency due to SiC based DC/DC converters, recovering energy in braking applications makes a lot of sense” says Pilar Molina, the CEO of Epic Power.