What Types of Home Elevators Do Not Require Machine Rooms?
Instead of having a fixed machine room at the top of the hoistway, the traction hoisting machine is installed either on the top side wall of the hoistway or the bottom of the hoistway, and the motor is installed with a permanent magnet and works with a voltage frequency drive.
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While hydraulic elevators do require machine rooms, chain drive and inline gear driver elevators do not require a machine room and use attic space instead. Pneumatic lift elevators and overhead winding drum elevators also don't require machine rooms.
Like normal traction elevators, MRLS use conventional steel cord ropes as the hoisting cables. Some elevator brands (such as Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp) use flat steel rope belts instead of conventional ropes. Manufacturers using these technologies claim that flat steel belt ropes save much space on the hoistway and allow a minimum size of the hoisting sheave. Flat steel belts are also 30% lighter than conventional steel ropes.
The first MRLs were built in the 1950s with modern models first built in the mid '90s. Otis launched its Gen2 MRL in 2000, which uses flat steel ropes. ThyssenKrupp introduced a MRL in 2004 and a new model in 2008.
The main benefit of MRLs is they save building space, since no space is required for a separate machine room. They also save building electricity by up to 70% and they use no oil, which reduces the risk of fire. And most important, they are less expensive than traditional elevators that require a machine room.
A machine room may or may not be needed for the home elevator you select. It depends on the drive type you choose. Pneumatic lift elevators have been gaining in popularity for single family homes. The elevator system operates as a pneumatic vacuum that moves the cab up down by force of suction. The elevator can be installed quickly, and the cost is cheaper because no machine room is required.