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Balloon lifted lift

A lift, lifted by a balloon
  [vote for,

A lift runs as usual in its shaft, but instead of being attached to a counterweight, the cable goes up through a hole in the roof of the building, and is attached to a balloon.

The penguin lift is raised and lowered within the building by increasing or decreasing the density of the balloon, perhaps by adding or removing gas through a long flexible pipe. More beautifully but more wastefully, hot air balloons could be used, and the altitude controlled as usual by flaring gas into the balloon.

A swivel pulley on the roof of the building allows the balloon to blow with the wind. On particularly windy days, or in coastal areas where there is always wind, the balloon could be replaced with a very large kite.

Saves floor space within the building because of the lack of a counterweight shaft; also allows quick visual indication of where the lift(s) are from outside the building, by observing the height(s) of the balloon(s).

pocmloc, Oct 08 2009


       I thought the balloon would be under the lift and inflated!
po, Oct 08 2009

       If the balloon pops, the elevator's emergency brakes grab onto the shaft, just like in a regular elevator.   

       The bigger problem, as I see it, is that you can't quickly change a balloon's vertical acceleration.   

       E.g., assuming the balloon is helium filled, how quickly can you pump helium out of the balloon, to allow the elevator to change from going up, to going down?   

       If the balloon is a hot air type, how quickly can you change from going down to going up?
goldbb, Oct 08 2009

       In government buildings the elevator is passenger-powered by hot air to ascend; to descend just open the trap door in the ceiling.
FlyingToaster, Oct 08 2009


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