What is the fastest elevator in the world? Is it that cool glass one from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? No, it isn’t! Although it could be rather interesting if you had Willy Wonka as your elevator companion—at least you would not be bored if the elevator broke down between floors 176 and 177.
So, what is the fastest elevator in the world? The REAL fastest elevator in the world can be found in the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101, and in 2006 the Guinness Book of Records officially certified it as the fastest elevator in the world. Ground breaking technology means that the world’s fastest elevator, built by Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp, has an eye-watering top speed of 1,010 meters per minute on the way up the building, and a top speed of 600 meters per minute on the way down.
Due to the phenomenal speed of the elevator, there have been some other groundbreaking technologies developed to ensure that the whole elevator experience is pleasurable experience as opposed to painful.
A high tech pressure control system automatically adjusts the atmospheric pressure inside the car by implementing suction and discharge blowers. This helps to prevent the “ear popping” phenomenon that can sometimes cause discomfort.
Vibration is canceled out by an active control system that moves the counter mass in the opposite direction based on information sent back from a vibration sensor inside the elevator. The car is also optimized to reduce whistling noises that are inevitable when an object travels at high speeds inside a narrow tube.
Unless you have had the pleasure of traveling inside the Taipei 101 elevator, it really does sound like something from a Science Fiction movie, but without such a super fast elevator, the Taipei 101 tower would never have been built to such a lofty height since any conventional elevator would take forever to climb up to the top floors. Let us hope that the elevator never breaks down: imagine how long it would take to reach the top floor via the stairs!
What is the fastest elevator in the world capable of carrying cargo?
While the Taipei 101 elevator is currently the world’s fastest passenger elevator, the Japanese manufacturer, Hitachi, may soon usurp it in the speedy stakes. In February 2010, the company opened a brand new elevator research facility in Hitachinaka, Japan. The 700 feet tall test facility is being used to put a new high-speed cargo elevator through its paces. Able to carry five tons of freight, the world’s fastest cargo elevator can travel at nearly 2000 feet per minute.
As well as testing elevator speed, the Hitachi elevator research facility is also looking at new methods of controlling vibration within elevator systems, plus innovative new air pressure systems designed to control the displacement of air within the elevator shaft.
No doubt the owners of the Taipei 101, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Freedom Tower in New York will be very interested in what Hitachi can come up with—if Hitachi manage to come up with an even faster elevator, a few more floors can be added to the world’s tallest buildings!