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‘World’s fastest’ elevator will hit speeds of 73.8km/h

11 May, 2016

Mitsubishi Electric claims to have developed the world’s fastest elevator. It has designed and built a system that will travel from the basement to the 119th floor of China’s tallest building, the 632m-tall Shanghai Tower, in just 53 seconds.

The elevator’s top speed will be 1,230m per minute, or 73.8km/h (20.5m/s). This is an improvement on the planned speed of 64.8km/h (18m/s) when the system was first announced in 2011.

The elevator’s high speed has been achieved through a combination of technologies including a control panel that maximises the traction machine’s performance, and improvements of safety devices such as the speed governor, ceramic brakes and buffer. Aerodynamic roof covers reduce lateral vibration and noise, while pneumatic controls compensate for the rapid changes in atmospheric pressure as the cabin ascends or descends.

The lift is one of three serving the tower’s observation deck, and will travel a distance of 578.5m. The operator will be able to switch the top speed between 1,080 and 1,230 m/min, depending on the passenger numbers. Regenerative braking will help to save energy.

The 632m-high Shanghai Tower is China's tallest building

Mitsubishi is supplying a total of more than 100 elevators for the Shanghai Tower. These include a group of four double-decker systems that will travel at speeds of up to 10m/s between the ground floor and a hotel lobby on the 101st floor.

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