Billed as the world’s fastest elevators, ultra-high-speed lifts from Hitachi will be installed at Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre (1,739 feet tall), a mixed-use skyscraper currently under construction in Guangzhou, China. With a speed of 3,937 feet/min (45 mph), the elevator will feature technologies that support safe and comfortable elevator operation, in addition to the drive and control technologies needed to attain the world’s fastest speed. Through these technologies, Hitachi said it will ensure that the elevator will provide passengers with a comfortable ride even when operated at high speeds.

Guangzhou CTF Finance CentreGuangzhou CTF Finance Centre is an upscale mixed-use skyscraper that provides office, hotel and residential space with 111 above-ground floors and 5 below-ground floors, and has a height of 1,739 feet. It will be the tallest building in Guangzhou, China. Construction of the building is now under way in the city’s Tianhe District, with the aim of fully opening the building in 2016.

The design of the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, is derived from its multiple uses – the building steps to accommodate the changing floorplates of the various program types – but also from the form of the adjacent West Tower and TV Tower – the city’s other two landmark supertall structures.

The tower’s façade is designed to emphasize its gentle curved form and verticality. Long stripes of white terracotta extend from the tower’s base to its chiseled setbacks and top. By day, the tower’s terracotta and metal façade stands out amongst its all-glass neighbors. At night the glistening terracotta sparkles on the skyline. The building’s podium, sheathed in a metal screen of warm bronze, provides an active and vibrant presence along the large central green axis of the Tianhe District.

The building will employ a number of energy efficient tools in order to reduce its environmental footprint. In addition to its strong multi-level connections to public transportation, these include the use of high-efficiency chillers, façade materials with high thermal properties, solar panels on the podium roof, and heat recovery from the water-cooled chiller condensers.

The 3,937 feet/min ultra-high-speed elevator that Hitachi will deliver will feature both the drive power needed to attain the world’s fastest speed. The elevator will travel a shaft height of 1,444 feet from the 1st to 95th floor in approximately 43 seconds. Furthermore, Hitachi said it will achieve both high-speed elevator operation and a safe, comfortable ride by using braking equipment and a governor (a safety device that activates braking systems and emergency stop devices when excessive speed is detected) that safely bring the elevator to a stop, as well as technologies to prevent lateral vibration and to reduce the sensation of ear blockage caused by air pressure differences.

In 1968, Hitachi developed Japan’s fastest elevator at the time, with a speed of 984 feet/min. The elevator was installed in the Kasumigaseki Building, Japan’s first skyscraper building. In 2010, Hitachi started operating the 700-feet tall G1TOWER, the world’s tallest elevator research tower. Here, Hitachi has been conducting many different field trials needed to support growing global demand for high-speed, large-capacity elevators, along with pursuing technology development for elevator products that satisfy safety, comfort and environmental considerations.

Hitachi will install a total of 95 elevators at Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, consisting of two of the world’s fastest elevators announced today with a speed of 3,937 feet/min; 28 double-deck elevators; ultra-high-speed elevators with a speed of 1,968 feet per minute; and other elevators.

Features of World’s Fastest Elevator

Drive and control technologies to attain world’s fastest speed

  • Successfully developed a compact traction machine by lightening the load on the traction machine, through reducing the weight of the system by reducing the main rope diameter while increasing the rope’s strength.
  • Developed a permanent magnet synchronous motor that achieves both a thin profile and the high output needed to attain a speed of 3,937 feet/min.
  • Installed inverters that possess one of the world’s highest capacities for use in elevators to control the output of the large-capacity motor. At the same time, Hitachi has successfully conserved space as regards the control panel.

Safety features supporting ultra-high-speed elevator operation

  • Developed brake equipment using braking materials with outstanding heat resistance to safely stop the elevator car in the unlikely event that an elevator malfunction is detected during ultra-high-speed operation.
  • Thoroughly ensure safety and save space by using a single governor that can control different rated speeds during elevator ascent and descent.

Elevators can be used comfortably with safety even over long travel

  • Installed active guide rollers that detect minute warping in the guide rails and lateral vibration due to wind pressure, in the four corners (top and bottom, left and right corners) of the elevator car. This gives elevator passengers a comfortable ride even during high-speed operation.
  • Reduced the sensation of ear blockage by developing Hitachi’s proprietary air pressure adjustment technology, which reduces the changes in air pressure inside the elevator car that would otherwise be caused by the vertical movement through long travel.