Inside information: What drives us

In this edition of ‘inside information’ we give you insight into the different types of elevators, and the various settings where they show their strength.

Everybody uses elevators but often the passengers riding in them the have no real idea what’s behind the mechanism that makes them move.

On our Lift Emotion projects the mechanism we usually use is an hydraulic elevator with the latest inverter drive technology.

So how does it work?
Hydraulic elevators act on an old principle where fluid is used to give force. We use this to push the cylinder piston upwards, which then holds an elevator cabin in direct drive. Another solution is to use a cylinder, sheave and ropes – when the cylinder moves one meter, the cabin moves two meters – this is called an indirect drive.

The cleanest and most beautiful elevators are created using this direct drive mechanism as there are no ropes in sight, resulting in a clean look. There is a disadvantage in these cases however; the lifting height and space needed for the cylinder.

With requirements for cylinders of up to 12 meters or more, placing a cylinder of that size under the cabin would cause obvious depth problems on yachts. To solve this, we’ve developed a diversity in single stage cylinders as well as telescopic cylinders, so that the same height is achieved with a smaller cylinder.

The pump unit for the hydraulics are stand-alone units, as elevator hydraulics are based on high flow and low pressure for better comfort for the passengers. Compare that to ship’s hydraulics which are high pressure, low volume making it impossible to use the ship’s power pack for an elevator.

All our current elevators we use have inverter-driven power packs for a lower KW usage but more importantly, superb passenger comfort. Feel free to contact us, or pay us a visit to experience this technology for yourself.

In addition, there are a few other drive types which are often used in other applications. In land-based settings, it’s common to find traction-driven elevators. These are well-suited for high rises, but on a yacht we find these to be too complex for the crew to maintain and they normally need more space for the pit/top and machinery, making them unsuitable for the space available on superyachts.

A drum drive is a more old fashioned drive system, though it still has its uses in some applications. These units tend to be less practicable for a yacht as drum drives usually have high kw power motors inside a staircase, which can cause issue with class and sound. They also require a more skilled engineer for maintenance, thus less maintenance can be done by the crew and the cost for service is more.

At Lift Emotion, we always look at the situation onboard and the requirements of the client to advise on which is the best way up.