A pneumatic elevator is a machine that relies on air pressure changes to transport passengers up and down to various levels within a building. These machines are much less complex than traditional elevators, which rely on elaborate pulley and cable systems in order to operate. Pneumatic elevators are typically used in residential applications that range from two to four stories. They are typically not available for structures taller than four stories, and are not able to meet the demands of heavy commercial use.
Pneumatic elevators are made up of three basic components. The largest component is a hoist cylinder, which is made of clear plastic or carbon fiber. A passenger car carries passengers through the cylinder, while a series of vacuum turbines are used to provide power.
As riders operate the elevator using a series of simple controls, the controls direct the vacuum turbines to redistribute the air pressure within the hoist tube. By moving air to the bottom of the tube, the turbines can push the car up. By releasing air from the bottom of the tube, the turbines can safely lower the car to ground level. A very small amount of electricity is used to raise the car, while no power at all is needed to lower the car, making pneumatic elevators must be energy-efficient than standard cable-powered units.
These elevators offer many benefits to homeowners, and can be used in many different types of houses. A pneumatic elevator costs just a fraction as much as a traditional elevator, which may help open up home elevators to a much wider market. These units are also easy to install, and do not require extensive excavation and demolition. They are easy to use and maintain, and contain few mechanical parts, which greatly reduces the chances of a breakdown or malfunction.
One of the primary drawbacks associated with the pneumatic elevator is its size. These units are too small to accommodate most wheelchairs, and most have a fairly limited weight capacity. While the pneumatic elevator may be a viable option for some elderly or disabled people, it will not work for the majority of wheelchair users. This type of elevator may also not be adequate for obese homeowners, who may exceed the recommended weight limits. Pneumatic elevator manufacturers are working to increase the size and weight capacity of their designs in order to accommodate a wider range of users in the future.