EIS, in partnership with the C.V. Starr Foundation at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Scinece and Art, has submitted a petition to New York’s Public Service Commission to include regenerative drives as a renewable resource in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Regenerative drives, or regen, as it is called in the industry, capture the energy produced by traction elevators and turn it into useable electricity for the building. If regen is approved as an RPS resource, buildings will be able to seek public subsidies for installation of the new equipment.
The elevators generate energy when in the braking mode, when a full elevator car descends or when an empty elevator cab ascends, as shown in the graphic below.
Traditional systems without regen not only dissipate this energy as heat, but then must consume additional energy to cool the machinery. Regen should achieve peak energy generation at the end of the afternoon as workers leave their office buildings for home, which is when air conditioning use is at a peak and electricity is most expensive and most needed in New york City. Read the petition (PDF) for yourself for more about regen’s potential and check out the coverage it received from Forbes blogger William Pentland.