Home elevators are smaller by nature than their commercial counterparts. Small elevators, however, are necessary in order to fit inside homes or buildings with limited area. Not all small elevators are the same, and one system may fit better into the space of your structure.
Hydraulic elevators are common in many homes and small commercial buildings. As the car is pushed up through the hoistway from below, this elevator is one of the safer systems available. A hydraulic ram, consisting of a fluid-driven piston mounted inside a cylinder, moves the car up, which is attached to guide rails inside the hoistway. The cylinder is connected to a tank, pump, and valve, which move hydraulic oil into a pipe connected to the cylinder. When the valve is closed, hydraulic oil builds up inside the cylinder and pushes the piston – and the car – up.
Hydraulic elevators come in several sizes. At Nationwide Lifts, nearly all Freedom elevators and the Vision EC use this system. Hydraulic elevators, however, take up more space inside a structure, as a machine room and pit need to be installed. The hydraulic oil, additionally, must also be changed regularly.
An environmentally-friendly elevator, the Freedom Green uses a traction system. Also called an electric elevator, a traction system does not need a machine room and uses one-third the power of a hydraulic elevator. The full device, as well, is inside the hoistway. Traction elevators are geared or gearless, and steel ropes rolled over high-speed motor sheaves move the car up and down.
Many small elevators use a pneumatic system. Also called a vacuum elevator, a pneumatic system moves the car up and down the hoistway by regulating air pressure; no cable, piston, or pulley is needed. As small elevators, pneumatic lifts consist of an acrylic hoistway and car, which can be quickly and easily installed into a structure. Pneumatic elevators hold only one to two passengers, however, and are not large enough to make a building accessible.
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