A vacuum/pneumatic system is a type of lift hoist mechanism that comprises a smooth vertical cylinder and car, which ascends and descends through air suction. The operation of the elevator is mainly based on the ascension push achieved by the difference between the atmospheric pressure above and below the lift car. The vacuum that is required to set the car on an upward motion is generated by turbines serving as exhaust fans located at the top of the machine.
Components of Pneumatic Elevators
The vacuum/pneumatic system is designed and constructed with various components aimed at ensuring easy operation, comfort, convenience and safety for all users. However, we will discuss the three main parts with an upper hand in delivering greater results to individuals using this type of elevators.
This is a transparent self-supporting tube that is wrapped around a specially designed aluminum structure. The cylinder tube’s walls are created from sheets of curved polycarbonate and comprise a modular, which can easily fit into each other. The exterior cylinder is capped with a steel roof to ensure air tight closures with inlets and suction valves.
Elevator or Lift Car
The car, which is also called cab by some people runs inside the cylinder on columns or rails. For stability, these columns are also part of the self-supporting structure of the exterior cylinder. Various kinds of materials can be used in making the surfaces of the lift but panels of poly-carbonate are the most popular. The lift car is designed with a system that is engaged to bring it to a halt whenever it gets to the required level of the building. The system offers precise but smooth brakes and mechanically keeps the car in lock.
Also known as the Head Unit, suction assembly is situated on top of the tube or cylinder, and encloses the valves, turbines and controls. The control chamber is a metallic casing that houses a PVE controller board and other electric devices. The suction assembly is built and fixed on either the tube holding the car or a separate one at a distance from the elevator. The Head Unit can be framed using fiber glass or steel based on the model of the elevator.
How Vacuum/Pneumatic System Operates
A vacuum or pneumatic system has a piston gear that is surrounded by a sliding air tight seal, which allows smooth movement while also hoisting the car as a result of the pneumatic depression experienced on top. The pneumatic depression is controlled by a valve that regulates air inflows. Besides, the valve also facilitates downward movement of the elevator under controlled speeds.
The lower part of the shaft is open for free inflow of air at atmospheric pressure. At every floor or level of the building, there are self-sealing perimeter seals on the doors, whose movements are controlled by atmospheric pressure. However, the car is designed with locking devices to facilitate stops at the upper and lower levels of the building. The machine is also equipped with a safe braking device that is activated in the event of any hitch which could impact accidents like a free fall.
Benefits of Vacuum/Pneumatic System
Unlike other types of lift hoist mechanisms, the vacuum/pneumatic system has a unique design and construction to accord users the best custom experience with regards to mobility. In fact, there are several advantages of installing vacuum or pneumatic elevators in your home. The following are some of the merits of pneumatic lifts.
- Easy to design, construct and install since they do not require machine rooms, hoist ways and pit excavation. With an expert, the installation process can take just a day or two to complete.
- Vacuum elevators usually require minimal space, which makes them a great option for existing buildings as well as new ones. In fact, you can easily install one in your home without interfering with the structure and other elements of the building.
- Much safer during power failure since the moving car can automatically come down to the lowest level of the building. In such situations, the electro-mechanical door will also open up automatically to let out passengers.
Another element of safety in vacuum or pneumatic elevators is the electric circuits. The machine’s 24-volt electric circuits within the cabin are ideal for eliminating the risk of electric shock.
- Considering the minimal requirements for the installation process, pneumatic elevators are also quite cost-effective and can save help you save some money while enhancing mobility within your home.
- The machine’s self-supporting structure also enhances its stability, ensuring it can steadily rest on any ground floor without exposing users to any risk.
- Vacuum elevators are also environmentally friendly since they do not use energy when descending, instead, operate on gravity. This goes a long way in improving the quality of life in your environment.
- These elevators are also less-demanding when it comes to maintenance. The components do not require lubrication and other similar activities. With proper use, the elevator only requires a scheduled service call every 15,000 lift cycles or five years whereby you may only need to replace the main seal.
- Pneumatic elevators are quite simple in construction and design without detailed cabling or pistons that could block the users’ vision. Their transparent and panoramic designs not only give them a sleek appeal but can also further complement other features in your home for the perfect setting.
Generally, vacuum/pneumatic elevators are a perfect choice for residential and landed property. However, this does not mean that they can be used in just any kind of building. The system is mainly recommended for smaller homes with relatively low traffic or number of users. Most of the models found in the market today recommend a maximum of up to three passengers or 230Kg.
Where to Find High Quality Pneumatic Elevators
At Home Lift Singapore, we offer a wide range of high quality vacuum elevators from where you can always choose the most suitable one to achieve your mobility expectations within the home. Besides, we also have experienced engineers to design, construct and install a custom vacuum/pneumatic system right into your home with unmatched convenience and affordability.