“On Demand” Escalators

So the correct term is really Variable-Speed Escalators but in a world focused on green energy, conservation, and working more efficiently, why do we run escalators when no one is using them? It seems like this new technology is becoming the norm.

Above is a video from the Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea. The escalators run at a very slow speed, just enough to overcome the inertia of starting them up. When a passenger walks near the escalator platform, the rate increases and the escalator runs at full speed until 30 seconds after the passenger leaves the escalator.

The end result is that energy is only expended when its needed. It’s this kind of creative thinking – using energy only when its needed – that defines our green power future.

Personally I have not seen these in the United States. I did a Google search and found this article about the implementation of them in the New York City subway system. From this article, it seems that some feel there may be some safety issues as well. What are your thoughts?

One thought on ““On Demand” Escalators

  1. I don’t think it will be a safety issue, because the low speed and the full speed is not that different. Maybe for hi – traffic this does,t work well. But for less traffic (about 5 minute / start) it can reduce energy consumption compare to standard escalator.
    Eventually the additional cost (for the extra device) will pay off.

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