With another pace setting innovation, Schindler, one of the world’s leading providers of elevators and escalators, has introduced an elevator powered by solar energy. The elevator, an adapted version of the company’s successful Schindler 3300 model, is currently being introduced to the market. Early customer feedback has been excellent and the full market launch is being prepared for later this year.

Schindler’s latest innovation offers energy savings of 50% per year compared to a conventional model. The elevator can be operated with solar energy, power from the grid, or a combination of both. Depending on the configuration and available sunlight, even a fully solar operation is feasible.

The elevator’s rooftop solar panels are sized according to the building’s anticipated traffic level and large enough to power the elevator during extended periods of reduced sunlight. Energy captured by rooftop solar panels can be used immediately, stored in batteries, or even re-sold to the grid.

The solar elevator also offers a unique advantage in markets that experience frequent power outages, a common headache in the developing world. Tapping into the stored solar energy ensures continuity of operation and minimizes the risk of passengers getting stuck in elevators.

“This is just the starting point for elevators powered by renewable energy,” says Alain Garrigue, Zone Business Manager at Schindler. “This prototype underscores Schindler’s commitment to the values of sustainability and innovation. We will continue to optimize the technology and start market introduction by 2013.”

Photo courtesy of Schindler Elevator