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Elevator Regenerative Drives – How They Work

Jonathan Bullick | August 18th, 2017

This video demonstrates how elevator regenerative drives operate and how they capture an elevator’s energy and put it back on the building power.


Elevator Regen Drives – How They Work

When lifting a fully-loaded car in a traction elevator application, electrical power is delivered from the building utility to the elevator system. However, when descending, that same fully-loaded car will regenerate energy. In other words, the stored energy in the mechanical system is converted back into electrical energy.

Historically, for VFD applications, this energy was shunted across a braking resistor and dissipated as heat. This resulted in two problems: First, the heat represented wasted energy. The costs to a building owner could be significant depending on the size, duty, and the number of elevators in the building. Second, the additional heat in the machine room often resulted in additional cooling costs.

There is a better, greener alternative. KEB’s R6 Line regenerative drive replaces the traditional braking resistor and can be used alongside the elevator drive. When an overhauling situation exists, the R6 regen unit goes active and commutates energy back onto the building to be consumed by other loads, such as lighting or HVAC.

The R6 is very compact and is available in capacities up to 500 Amps. The smaller units can be used on both 208V and 460V installations and automatically detect the mains voltage and frequency. The R6 units require little adjustment and are easy to use. They feature internal DC fuses and programmable I/O.

For applications that need to meet IEEE 519 power quality standards, passive KEB harmonic filters can be used to meet the most stringent levels.

In addition to saving energy, the R6 line regen units save money too. For efficient gearless systems, the ROI can be less than 2 years. KEB offers an online calculator that can be used to estimate the savings a building owner could expect to achieve.


Go green with KEB’s R6 Line regen unit

To learn more about the KEB R6 elevator regen drive, contact us through our Contact Us page or give us a call. We’d be happy to answer your questions.


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