Maglev (magnetic levitation) technology is used in a variety of applications including Japan’s bullet train and the Hyperloop project. Now you can add maglev technology to another people mover, the elevator. ThyssenKrupp is a company out of Germany and they are testing their new maglev elevator, named “The Multi,” in Rottweil, Germany. The new maglev elevator is capable of moving side to side and of course up and down — all using magnetic levitation. As Wired UK mentions in their article, this is Willy Wonka, come to life. Check out the video below that demonstrates some of The Multi’s abilities.
Elevators being used in skyscrapers now operate on cables and pulleys but those can only reach so high. Once you get to the maximum height of around 1640 feet, you need to build another elevator shaft to move people the rest of the way up. Building more elevators means taking up more space inside of a building, space that could have been used for more productive and better things.
“This cannot go on forever,” Schierenbeck said. While the Multi can cost three to five times more than a standard lift system, Schierenbeck claims saving that much space in a central downtown building, for example, is “definitely overcompensating the price of the product.”
The Multi is built within a system of a single, slim shafts that can fit as many cabins as required – much like an underground rail system. These can be removed or added depending on traffic frequency at certain times of the day. “What we did is we took a train and we adjusted it 90 degrees up and we put it into a shaft,” he said.
It will be interesting to see if maglev elevators are seriously considered for future buildings. I’m sure the technology will become more affordable over time and perhaps buildings of the future will be designed around The Multi.Source: Wired UK