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Water filled elevator shaft, water tight elevator cars
  [vote for,

Fill the elevator shaft with water, make the elevator cars water tight. Move the lift-motor to the bottom as a sink-motor. When the car wants to go up, just let the motor freewheel and the buyoancy does the work. Then the car needs to go down, pull with the motor.

The elevator should be designed such that the buyoancy can lift the maximum weight rating of the elevator. It takes no energy to go up (indeed, when the load is light the motor can act as a generator and power the vending machines in the lobby). When coming down, the fatter the occupants the better.

In an emergency, chambers in the walls can fill with water to slowly sink the elevator. If the cable snaps, the car bobs up and floats at the top of the building waiting for help to arrive. If there the building is on fire, say on the 3rd floor, just open the elevator doors on the 4th and woosh! (just like in the movie The Towering Inferno)

The thermal mass of the water will act to help keep the building hot in the winter or cool in the summer. Just dump a bottle of Mr. Clean in from time-to-time to keep the health inspectors happy.

Imagine the water pressure in the lower floor drinking fountains that could be produced!

mk, Nov 18 2002

Hydraulic Elevators http://www.halfbake...ydraulic_20Elevator
[Nick@Nite, Oct 17 2004]


       Nay, not the shaft shaft, the big gaping hole shaft. The part that is usually filled with air and cables and sits in-between the walls.
mk, Nov 18 2002

       I guess the car might have to be pressurized with an airlock to leave at the first floor. It might be nice if it and the shaft were transparent and the water held sea life.
FarmerJohn, Nov 18 2002

       Watch what you say mk. Otis are more powerful than you can imagine and they will crush you like a bug if you challenge their elevator power.
Admiral Hackbar, Nov 18 2002

       That's how the singer of Dock of the Bay got his name you know.
Admiral Hackbar, Nov 18 2002

       Just pray that it never gets jammed with you inside.
RayfordSteele, Nov 18 2002

       Also, since each elevator is an independent submarine, each could be freed from the ropes that conventional elevators hang from. This means that multiple elevators can simultaneously co-exist in one elevator shaft. A four shaft configuration - a fast up-traffic shaft, a fast down-traffic shaft, a slow up-traffic shaft, and a slow down-traffic shaft - could increase trasportation rates while reducing the space taken up by elevator shafts at the same time.   

       The downside - hydraulic drag forces will make it energy inefficient for short buildings, while water pressure will be a problem for tall buildings. The Empire state building is about 1250 ft tall, while the incredibly thick Hoover dam is 726 ft tall. Imagine how thick the shaft walls will have to be at lobby level... Yikes!
tongpoo, Jul 12 2003

       these elevators that travel through water already exist at Disney World at the Epcot Center at the sound of the ocean or something like that.
jeffman, Jul 27 2003

       Jeffman- I remember those epcot aquavators... we had the Disney channel when I was a kid and of course epcot got plugged unceasingly. One of the things that always amped my ten-year-old self was the tour of the aquarium facility which was entered via an underwater elevator!   

       Imagine my dismay, when we finally got to epcot, when I discovered that the aquavator was a room that shook a bit while bubbles rose in thin panels of glass in the walls through which could be seen a conveyor belt of rocky texture disappearing past the ceiling. After 30 seconds the group left by a door opposite the one they entered.   

       The whole illusion wasn't even good enough to trick an eager child. Therefore I must +1 for any idea that approaches that daydream...   

       Magic Kingdom my ass
attis, Jan 25 2005

       I had an idea for something similar today (and found this searching to make sure it was not a duplicate). My variation was to have water filled shafts and airlocks at each elevator location, but no actual elevator cars.   

       People would swim to their chosen floor, possibly with the assistance of a can of air available at the airlock door.   

       Arriving at the first floor, passengers take a can of air and place the breather in their mouth, step into the airlock, which when sufficiently full, the lobby door closes. The airlock fills up with water, then the back door opens and the passengers swim out and up to their destination floors, stepping into the airlock on that floor, where the back door closes, the water is pumped out, and the front door opens, and the passengers step out, set the can of air in a designated holding area, and proceed to their offices soaking wet.   

       I didn't think my idea was sufficiently different to warrant a separate posting.
tatterdemalion, Jun 02 2012


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