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Coils consisting of a number of turns of wire and connected in sequence are run up the inside of an elevator shaft. The elevator itself is fitted with a vertical row of magnets on the outside of the cabin that will pass over the coils and generate electricity on every elevator ride. This can be used
to charge a (12V?) battery bank for emergency lighting use etc.
From an elevator drive/control manufacturer [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 05 2007]
||This is already done, using the drive motor as a generator (far more effective than a linear system, and already in place).