July 23, 2012

Provaglio d’Iseo (BS), 16 July 2012 - The Politecnico di Milano’s decision to install an elevator fitted with a Gefran inverter in its Students Domitory was an undoubtedly greenchoice. Yet it also represents a clear example of what might be termed “energy virtuosity” because Gefran’s clever technology will also enable very high efficiency levels thanks to two essential components: the motor and the inverter.

According to Gefran’s own research, an elevator that uses a motor and a regenerative inverter system is capable of achieving 90% energy savings compared with a standard two-speed system. The day-to-day energy-consumption savings thus made also mean that the new system will pay for itself more quickly.

The inverter (the component that controls the movement of the elevator) installed at the Politecnico di Milano’s Student Dormitory is part of Gefran’s AVRy series of regenerative inverters. The range has been specially designed to control elevator systems installed in public buildings and is the result of the know-how accumulated by a company that has been producing inverters for the industrial sector for more than 40 years and developed to improve the energy efficiency and performance of manufacturing machinery.

When used in the elevator sector, a regenerative inverter results in not only a significantly more cost-effective operation but also delivers an improved performance in terms of both dynamics and comfort. Compared to traditional elevator systems in which the energy generated during the braking phase is otherwise dispersed as heat, Gefran’s regenerative system feeds this energy back into the power network where it is reutilized. This combination of motor and regenerative inverter is ideal for high-traffic systems of the kind found in hospitals, schools, airports, train stations, and public buildings generally, and of which the Politecnico di Milano’s Student Dormitory represents a prime example.

As Alfredo Sala, Gefran’s CEO, explains, “According to the latest ANIE data, around 15,000 new elevators are installed in Italy every year, and the great majority of them are being designed without regenerative systems. If more advantage were taken of regenerative technology, with its highly-efficient system of motors and inverters, energy savings of more than 25,000 GWh per year could be made coupled with reductions in CO2 emissions of more than 12M tons/year.”

There are currently around 900,000 elevators in Italy, 60% of which are more than 20 years old. Of the remaining 40%, some have even been in operation for more than 30 years! If there were greater awareness of the potential technological benefits of these regenerative systems,together with favourable regulations,” Alfredo Sala concludes, “that would not only benefit the budgets of companies and families alike, but also the energy balance sheet of the country as a whole.”

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