Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Solar Powered Elevator

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Imagine the situation. You are just leaving work in your tall office building. You and twelve other colleagues get into the elevator. The ground floor button is pressed. The doors close. You begin your ride down to the ground as usual. But wait. The lift stops with a sudden thud. The light flickers and fades. The electricity for half the city is out. Now you are trapped inthe elevator, and people on the top floors can only get down by using the stairs. Even Mrs McTavish, who is in a wheel chair must use the stairs. This wouldn't have happened if your building installed the 'Solar Powered Elevator'.

Since most buildings that use elevators are reasonably tall, and have a lot of roof real estate, it makes perfect sense to make use of it. Solar panels wopuld be placed onteh roof, and would charge a series of batteries. Whent he electricity is cut, the batteries come into effect, and power essentials, such as lifts, and low wattage lighting guiding you to the doors of the elevator.

With this system, both you and Mrs McTavish can leave the building safely and quickly, until power has been propperly restored.

[ sctld ], Jul 14 2002

Solar powered ideas http://www.halfbake...%22solar+powered%22
enough already? [JKew, Jul 14 2002]


       I think this is more "local renewable emergency power for buildings" than "solar powered elevator".   

       (Aside: Do skyscrapers already have standby generators for emergency power and evacuation?)
JKew, Jul 14 2002

       [The ones I work in generally have emergency backup generators, but they are usually to keep the computers running, and do not power the elevators.]
DrCurry, Jul 14 2002

       JKew: Try fitting "local renewable emergency power for buildings" on a marque, and then we'll talk.
[ sctld ], Jul 14 2002

       Bah, get more exercise and take the stairs all the time.   

       But-- how about a fold away bike seat and pedals for just such emergencies? Or possibly a hand crank? Could generate power for the motors, or have a more direct link to the pullies or hydraulics. All you'd want is to move to the next floor and then take the stairs from there. Even better: why not put gravity to use?? Have some kind of automatic drift to the next lower floor.   

       Obvious trouble with the solar idea is it won't work at night.
ThotMouser, Jul 15 2002

       Sorry, Mrs. McTavish, I'm climbing the elevator shaft! Here, let me just step up on your head here so I can reach the trap door..   

       It's time for natural selection to kick in if I get stuck in an elevator and the power goes out.
Mr Burns, Jul 15 2002

       ThotMouser: Not everyone can take the stairs, such as the wheel chair bound, and those that work on say, the 70'th floor of a skyscraper. And if you are willing to hand crank yourself, a lift and 30 compadres down an elevator shaft, then you'll be the one who keeps on having to go back up to the 50'th floor, just to get that last person. Using gravity won't work, because the lift needs to go up floors, as well as down them. Perhaps you missed the part that says that the solar panels will //charge a series of batteries//. Accidents happen so infrequently that large enough amounts of electricity can be built up over time, and kept stored. Thus it will work during event he darkest days an nights.
[ sctld ], Jul 15 2002

       For escape/exit putposes only, if you have two lifts, joined by a cable, and use only one at a time, the the full lift drags the empty lift up to the top ... then the bottom lift empties, the top one is filled, and descends, reperting the cycle. Gravity and the potential energy of the passengers supplies all the energy you need. The lifts themselves would need to be very lightweight, but since the're for emergency use only they don't have to be durabe to stand up th the day-to-day battering. 12 people at 75 kilos each descending 12 floors is a lot of energy. Shame to waste it. So sorry, no croissant, but no fishbone either.
8th of 7, Jul 15 2002


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