The fundamentals of the system used by lifts worldwide have hardly changed in 166 years of history. However, the engineers at Thyssenkrupp Elevator have developed a new system that represents a complete overhaul and profoundly transforms these fundamentals. With it, lifts will now travel inside buildings not only vertically, but also horizontally or even diagonally. The MULTI System will be installed for the first time in the EDGE East Side Tower in Berlin, a 36-storey commercial and office building scheduled for completion in 2023.
MULTI System consists of a network of vertical and horizontal steel rails, through which several lifts run at the same time, using an electromagnetic mechanism similar to that developed in some high-speed trains. Each lift is driven through the rail network by its own linear motor. It is an energy-efficient system, as it recovers energy from descending cars and immediately redistributes it to those ascending or moving horizontally.
Each cabin has power and data transmission units for correct and precise coordination with the other cabins in the system. They are also equipped with an emergency braking device for safety. Each lift travels at a speed of 6 metres/second, which allows access from any floor within 15 to 30 seconds and therefore contributes to reducing waiting times and the decongestion of large buildings.
One of the key features of the MULTI System is the “exchanger”. This is a complex mechanism that rotates a section of rail behind the lift car to align it in the desired direction of travel, either horizontally or vertically (or diagonally). In addition, the cabs, which are constructed of high-strength steel, are designed to be as light as possible.
One of the main advantages of this system is that it enables architects to reduce the number of lift shafts in their designs and thus to optimise space for other uses. It is easy to imagine how the potential of this new lift system will transform the way buildings in particular, and urban planning in general, are designed and conceived. To see the complexities of the MULTI System, you can watch the following illustrative video: VÍDEO.