Exploring elevator group control

This article was first Published in the June issue of the Elevator World India Magazine, EWI is a quarterly magazine published in English.

Exploring elevator group control

 

By Mr. Subramania  Bharathiyar

Modern buildings need intelligent elevators which can offer minimum waiting periods and ride times, as well as maximum energy savings. An intelligent and well-designed elevator control system can use elevator group control to deliver on all these goals, delivering the most effective possible passenger service possible.

How does elevator group control work?

Elevator group control is based on an algorithm that is used to analyse elevator traffic patterns. Essentially, by linking a group of elevators together, and ensuring they are communicating constantly, the control system can take decisions about which elevator should respond to an elevator call. By analysing what is going on right now in a building, at a given Moment and also making predictions about what is going to happen in the near future, a group control system can ensure that all cars work cooperatively, and that the most logical car is assigned to any given hall call to ensure waiting and ride times are minimised.

To do this, the control system is aware of all variables, such as the position, direction and load of each car, and the current traffic pattern. Ride times are also reduced because the system can take into consideration how many stops each car is making per trip and, if a car is already making an excessive number of stops, a different car will be assigned to any subsequent calls. A group control system can also be pre-programmed to understand simple parameters – such as the peak elevator traffic times in an office building in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening.

As well as reducing wait and ride times, such a system can also improve energy efficiency because it can take energy consumption as well as passenger waiting and travel times into account. For example, if several elevator cars are all within the same distance of a hall call, the system can consider which elevator is carrying the lightest load, and thus will require the least energy, and can despatch that car. To further improve energy efficiency, a group control system should not only take waiting and travel time into account. If, during a quiet period, a single person simultaneously calls an elevator on three different floors of a building, the system should not send a separate empty car to each: instead, it could consider the waste of energy in this scenario and just send one car to pick up all three calls.

Monarch pioneered elevator Integrated Solutions: we’re #1 in India

Founded in 2003, Monarch is the dedicated elevator business unit of Inovance – a $1.7bn global industrial automation company. Monarch specialises in elevator controllers and gearless drive technology. We pioneered the NICE Integrated Solution that combines an elevator controller with the drive in a single package. As of 2021, we have 2,550,000 NICE installations worldwide, and we are #1 in India for elevator Integrated Solutions.

Elevator group control on the NICE3000+

The NICE3000+ is an integrated elevator control solution for elevators of up to 4 m/sec and offers serial technology. It supports both PM gearless and asynchronous geared traction machines, offering smooth ride performance and direct to floor technology. Duplex control for a two car group is built-in to the NICE3000+, requires no additional accessories, and uses CANbus serial communications. For implementing group control of up to eight cars, a set of optional group control boards is needed to connect all eight NICE3000+ control systems together. The function of efficiently distributing landing calls to individual elevator cars in a group is essentially the same for both large and small groups of elevators. Thus, a two-car elevator group can benefit from the use of group control as much as an eight-car group.

The NICE3000+ group control system is feature-rich, and includes functions such as a peak hour service, elevator car zoning, and a real-time based special service. CAN communications are used for grouping, and fuzzy logic control is employed to deliver the minimum possible passenger wait time. Additionally, the system offers special functions such as a real-time based car service, a peak group service, car zoning, or special floor service. The use of fuzzy logic control essentially enables a system to make assessments about information which is neither definitely ‘true’ or ‘false’ by using a flexible set of ‘if-then’ rules. This gives a new level of machine intelligence to the NICE3000+, and ensures the most efficient possible elevator group control solution.

For more advanced traffic analysis and predictive functions, data can be mined from the group control card and analysed by third party algorithms.

To continue the conversation about elevator group control with Subramania directly, please contact him on Subra.ks@inova-automation.com. Alternatively, visit www.Inovance.eu/India to learn more about our elevator products

 

Subramania Bharathiyar, strategic marketing manager for elevators at Inovance, joined the company in 2012. He holds a degree in electronics and communications engineering. He started his elevator career in 2002 as a junior engineer with TK Elevator. He has since gained extensive experience across the elevator industry, including at Schindler and Otis, where he was involved in various technical activities including installation, commissioning, maintenance and product quality and safety.