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New vacuum elevator installs in a few hours at a budget price

New vacuum elevator installs i...
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One of the major problems with installing an elevator in a home is the amount of space required, not to mention the costly infrastructure and maintenance issues and the immense problems and cost associated with any retrofitting. Now a new type of elevator developed in Argentina looks set to revolutionise the residential lift market, making elevators affordable to everyone.The self-supporting vacuum elevator is constructed of aluminium and polycarbonate and takes just a few hours to install. Unlike previous elevators, the new lift is completely self-supporting, extremely light, has a footprint of just one square metr e and requires no excavating pit or hoistway, it can be fitted to almost any two or three storey building at a fraction of the cost of a normal elevator.

The Residential Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator may be a little challenging to look at the first time you see it – the hoistway is transparent and there are clearly no cables supporting the elevator cab, so it looks distinctly like some thing out of Star Trek, operating on some advanced levitation principle.

It’s actually very safe with over 300 lifts already installed and working perfectly and works entirely according to the simplest laws of physics - the difference in air pressure above and beneath the vacuum elevator cab safely raise and lower it on a cushion of air and though there’s not much room inside, the lift is rated to a capacity of 450 pounds.

Though it might look precarious, it is absolutely safe even in the case of an electricity power failure as the descending car automatically stops and locks on the next floor.

Some clever locking mechanisms mean that the lift always stops exactly at floor level and as air pressure rather than mechanical apparatus move the lift, the starting and stopping is very smooth.

What’s more, the unique installation and streamlined design will adapt to many non-conventional living spaces in a variety house styles.

The lifts can be seen at Daytona Elevator's web site.

18 comments
Jarin Brill
how much does vac.elevator cost installed?
Dangarr
So what happens when the glass breaks and air pressure is lost?
jimyoung
Seems obvious that vacuum elevators suck. Sorry, couldn\'t resist, though it is better than the joke about the one Lucas Electric product that didn\'t suck (a vacuum cleaner). Seriously, at rate limiting one way air valve in the lower part would allow rapid intake and slow exhaust which would provide an air cushion of progressively greater slowing as the bottom was approached. Great safety feature, I\'d think. What are the advantages of suction from the top vs pressure from the bottom? I\'d think pressure would be easier to store and partially recover, requiring a smaller compressor that could be sized for duty cycle, too.
Gadgeteer
Dangarr, Did you read the article? It\'s not glass. It\'s polycarbonate. PC is shatterproof. With enough force, you might be able to crack it, but a crack won\'t allow enough airflow to cause catastrophic failure.
Paul Anthony
The noise decibels on this thing is 87 That a bit above heavy traffic, noisy restaurant, or a handsaw. Not too bad I guess but if I was asleep in the next room, perhaps too much. I like it though. Too bad they don\'t have one that can accomodate a wheel chair, or even better one with the same floor space as the landing on my stairway so I could install one of these and reclaim all that space that my stairs consume on each of my three floors of my town house.
Wombat56
\"Too bad they don\'t have one that can accommodate a wheel chair ...\" I believe they do have a wheel chair version available now -- see their web site. You\'re right in thinking that 87dB is a bit on the loud side. I wonder if this could be a task suited to \"anti-noise\" electronic noise cancellation systems.
mehan
Since Daytona Elevator\'s website is unavailable, Could you please quote us for two storey building, or if they have another web site ?
Gregg Eshelman
It only takes a few PSI pressure difference to move a large load, if that difference is spread over a large enough area. It\'s the same principle as used in those stunts showing how a tiny vacuum cleaner can \"lift a car\". They either attach a flat and smooth panel to the roof of the car then set another one on top, with a good edge seal, or use a plastic panel shaped to exactly fit the car\'s roof. The few PSI of suction spread over several square feet is plenty to hold the car up. Same deal where they pick up a bowling ball using a large funnel. The vacuum elevator is simply a useful application of vacuum cleaner \"snake oil\" sales tricks. ;)
patrick.taylor1
According to the 2005 New Scientist article linked on the site the cost was around $20000. Does not seem that cheap but it is an elegant solution and may make very good sense in certain situations.
Forward Thinker
This thing would be great for wheelchair-bound people living in homes with multiple floors. Unlike a traditional starlift which requires the person to transfer from their wheelchair to the lift and then onto another wheelchair, they could simply roll into the elevator without having to get up. As for the noise, why not put the air pump someplace where it won\'t be heard like a garage or basement and then just route air lines to the actual tube? But like many new inventions like this, the price needs to be brought down.