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Author Topic: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?  (Read 3287 times)

Offline McKay

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Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« on: 29/03/2014 18:33:14 »
There is a  problem with elevators in skyscrapers the taller they get. People are engineering faster elevators, double-deck elevators, multiple shafts and what not.
But I was thinking - why not use something similar to escalators, not elevators? Two circular escalator-like strips could be built around the core of the skyscraper (or around the inside edge). One going down and other going up. Perhaps not a continuous strip from the bottom to the top - there could be several pieces stitched together..
Escalators are usually slow, but they dont have to be slow. To avoid the sudden acceleration when a person would want to hop on a high-speed escalator, they could be built in few lanes - closest ones moving slower and gradually increasing speed with each step you take to the furthermost/ fastest lane..
They could be in either stair/ step form or, perhaps, just a flat strip fabricated for super-grip ( I have standed  on a slope made from plywood that was made with tiny spikes all over it, which was set at an angle of 45 or more, and could not slide at all..)
They can also double as simple stairs in case there is no power..
People could jump on and of them at any floor as they wish just by changing lanes (from high speed to slow to a non-moving)

So I ask you, science people, why are we not trying to build these things instead of elevators?


 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #1 on: 29/03/2014 19:48:14 »
They would be very slow compared to regular elevators that are a very mature technology that cannot easily be improved on.
They would also take up a great deal of room!
« Last Edit: 29/03/2014 19:50:08 by syhprum »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #2 on: 30/03/2014 03:01:18 »
Of course a bank of 8 elevators or so takes up some space too.  Staircases usually have a partly circular path.

A standard circular staircase may fit into a single elevator shaft, so an up and down system might not take up much more room than 2 elevators, or two staircases.  Speed might be an issue, but it would depend on how fast the elevators recycle.  I always hate standing around for an elevator.  Perhaps the escalator would be just as fast as an elevator for going up or down 1 to 5 flights or so.   Too tight of a circle and too high of speed, and dizziness could be an issue.

Moving from low to high speed would be awkward as if one had steps, then they would be moving past each other, and one would lack hand rails at the transition point.  So, a single slow speed would likely be best.

The exits would be awkward, but one could likely design some kind of a landing where the steps become flat, and one has a gap in the outer railing.  But then using the escalator, one would tend to feel upward movement, then no movement for each flight, again reducing the overall speed.

The recycling of steps at the top and bottom would be awkward, but it could likely be designed so that the up and down escalators share the steps.  Design safety, of course would be an issue so there would never be missing steps, and they would never fall.

Anyway, I think it could be done, perhaps not wasting too much more space if it takes the place of existing fixed stairwells.  For exercise, people often encourage using the stairs, although many modern buildings are designed to discourage stair usage for some reason, and one often finds the stairs unused.  But, if this is most effective for only going up a half dozen flights, then why not just encourage people to use the stairs?
 

Offline McKay

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #3 on: 30/03/2014 12:57:17 »
I think it should be designed on and experimented on and something good could come out of it.
With either stairs or flat surfaces.
Transition from slow to fast would work better with flat surface.
Perhaps dont think of it as a slow, bulky escalator, but a giant treadmill?
Dizziness would be an issue if moving too fast in too tight of a spiral, but it can be designed not to be too tight - the whole structure could be spiral (double-helix? ). The entry/ exit points for each floor would be at different places relative to the base floor of the building.
As you said, everything would be awkward, but not impossible to design for non-awkwardness.. (?)
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #4 on: 31/03/2014 18:57:22 »
The real trick is to eliminate the need to go up and down. Link skyscrapers together so that you can live, work and shop at the same general altitude - the only reason for having a lot of up/down traffic in a tall building is that everyone has to get to the ground floor in order to get in and out of buildings. If I was building anything with multiple floors, I'd also fit external poles for people to slide down (in a series of one-floor steps). This would make it easier for people to escape in an emergency.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #5 on: 01/04/2014 09:26:23 »
I'd hate to live my entire life in the 100th floor of a monster skyscraper, like a sci-fi story where the reputable people never venture down to the true ground floor.

One could do a lot with skybridges, or perhaps making a monster building, say a few square mile footprint, and 100 stories tall.  No doubt it would create some unique stresses on the building design.  However, as the size expanded, one would be tempted to use an internal tram system or horizontal escalators like one finds in airports.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #6 on: 01/04/2014 19:22:15 »
You wouldn't need to spend all your time at a fixed altitude to benefit from this. You could go up or down a few floors in each building you visit and from time to time reach ground level, and by doing this you would avoid having to go to ground level in each building. If you can reduce the amount of time you spend in lifts by half, the buildings can collectively cope with half the number of lifts.
 

Offline McKay

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #7 on: 07/04/2014 08:37:32 »
What about, perhps, something a bit more far fetched - using sound waves on a inclined surface to move objects ( people ) up and down?
Recently bunch of guys ware able to levitate small, light particlee above a surface in mid air. Surelly it is possible to vibrate the "tredmills" surface in such a way that it grips whatever is standing on it and moves it aroun. It would require some kind of tracking sustem for each user.
That way speed difference ould be dealt with much better.
 

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Re: Circular escalator for super tall skyscrapers?
« Reply #7 on: 07/04/2014 08:37:32 »

 

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