Technology. It never ceases to amaze me. By now you have probably heard about and seen the photos of Pluto, courtesy of NASA’s New Horizons. This spacecraft was traveling more than 36,000 mph (58,000 km/h) after launch and, thanks to a gravity assist by Jupiter, increased its speed by 9,000 mph (14,000 km/h). That’s fast – – insanely fast. The most amazing part however is that even at those speeds, it took nearly 10 years to reach its destination of Pluto! And even more amazing than that is the fact that this spacecraft can send us pictures from that far away! And even more amazing…. well I’ll stop there before I get too carried away.
My point is that technology is cool and it is always changing. This allows for some amazing innovations that will certainly make for an exciting future.
The elevator industry is no exception.
The cover of July’s issue below proves just that. Kingdom Tower is set to be the world’s tallest building at 3,280 feet (1 km). How is this possible? Technology (and some really brilliant people) — but not just with the structure itself (going that high has many structural challenges!) Traditional steel ropes for the elevators inside would be too heavy and consume too much energy for a building of this size. Typically, ‘supertalls’ such as this would have to shut down its elevators on windy days. This is obviously a major problem for those who live and work in these buildings. So KONE (who landed the contract for Kingdom Tower) set out to solve this problem. And it’s absolutely fascinating!
However, buildings can only go so high (for now). And elevators can only go up and down, right? Wrong.
Enter: ThyssenKrupp’s MULTI. This new design throws out the traditional rope-dependent system and “places linear motors in elevator cabins, transforming conventional elevator transportation in vertical metro systems.”
Because the system allows for horizontal movement of the cars, buildings will be able to take on entirely new – and probably wider – shapes. ThyssenKrupp plans on testing the first MULTI system in 2016.
I wonder who will grace our cover one day as “Future world’s longest building”?
So with all that in mind, is it really hard to believe the idea of Space or Lunar elevators? Not for me.
Here’s to reaching new heights.
Thanks for reading,