Energy Efficient Drives for Elevators & Escalators

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Elevate comfort and reliability to new heights 

With urbanization driving the need for taller buildings, and an aging population looking for more well-being in their lives, easy and fast access with high comfort levels and energy efficiency are key parameters in the design of today’s elevators and escalators. Even thrill-seekers looking to reach new heights in ski resorts have an impact on the industry.

You can rely on smooth, silent and safe performance, combined with cost synergies, by incorporating Danfoss AC drives designed specifically for the elevators and escalators industry into your construction. Our products provide effortless speed control and optimized efficiency of equipment in, for example, commercial and residential buildings, ski resorts and industrial sites all around the world. And you can enjoy the ease of dealing with a single supplier, because aside from AC drives, Danfoss is already present in building automation solutions in almost every building, supermarket or factory globally.

Traction elevators and escalators

These are the most common types of elevator and escalator equipment. Cars are maneuvered by means of rolling ropes over a pulley system, and the load is balanced by a counterweight. Accurate control of a high-efficiency motor using an AC drive provides the required ride comfort. Elevator-specific functionalities make it easy to integrate the AC drive into a new elevator series or to modernize existing installations.

In escalators, AC drives enable low-speed idling and full-speed operation with soft acceleration and deceleration. The high efficiency and smooth operation of the equipment guarantees its long lifetime. Both new equipment and existing installations benefit from a lower total cost of ownership.

Hydraulic elevators

Hydraulic elevators, also widely used, have pistons that move the car along guide rails. When AC drives are used, the hydraulic pump is driven in relation to the true demand with the lowest losses. The hydraulic oil doesn’t get hot and the lift will have unlimited cycles per day, shorter cycle times and very high efficiency. Energy savings exceed 50%, and total savings of up to 75% are possible when oil coolers are removed and the air conditioning has less work to do. Modernization of an existing lift to use AC drives can be done in a matter of hours.


Smooth access to locations at high altitude, in deep snow or that offer spectacular scenery is possible with ropeways. Danfoss Drives provides the required redundancy by controlling multiple motors or multi-segment motors. The flexibility in application design allows various different configurations for both new and modernization systems. Energy efficiency can be maximized with regenerative drives that feed the braking energy back to the electrical grid.

Construction hoists and industrial elevators

Moving people and goods at construction sites is handled efficiently by using rack- and pinion-type hoists and elevators. Multiple parallel motors and a single Danfoss AC drive with dynamic braking enable different capacity hoisting equipment within the same mast or rack. Drives can be installed either inside or on top the car. The drives also offer interfacing to elevator controls and enable accurate landings to floors to increase safety.

Increased safety at Max Planck Institute

The Max Planc Institute, Gottingen, Germany choose the Danfoss Dedicated Lift Drive for their impressive 5 story elevator. Making safety contacts omissible and significantly reducing installation costs.


Case studies

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