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Power for designated emergency evacuation lifts

07 November 2011

Most lifts cannot be used in an emergency. This is to prevent cabin doors from opening onto a fire or smoke engulfed landing. It also prevents lift use when there is a risk of power failure or cables melting. However, in order to improve facilities for the evacuation of disabled, injured or incapacitated persons from public premises, a designated evacuation lift, protected with features to enable operation during an emergency, will allow for safe and controlled evacuation.

Power Systems International, in collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council, have embarked upon a pioneering initiative to provide purpose built Emergency Power Systems (EPS) for dedicated evacuation lifts to be installed in schools, libraries, hospitals, and other public buildings.

In an emergency evacuation situation or when the public power supply fails, an authorised person controls the EPS at the externally located “on emergency power” switch by using a remote control key, like the ignition switch in a car. This switch, supplied with the EPS, is usually installed adjacent to the lift call button or on the control panel in the lift car.  Once activated, it powers the lift hoisting system from its internal inverter and batteries, independent of the mains power.

The “on emergency power” button illuminates to signal that power is being provided to the lift traction system from the EPS system.  It is then possible for the authorised person to operate the lift for a prescribed number of journeys (as many as 10 upward and 10 downward journeys) within the one hour period, as stipulated in the EN-British Standard specification. The lift car is able to travel at normal speed. Not all designated evacuation lifts adhere to this.

The EPS can be used on any lift, whether traction or hydraulic. The unit is cost effective and eco friendly as it consumes just 50 watts in its quiescent mode - approximately that of a household bulb. A conventional uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system of 20kVA would have losses of 2 kilowatts. The unit is a compact dimensioned standby power system built in a steel enclosure comprising a high performance intelligent rectifier battery charger, maintenance free battery and an inverter with automatic bypass feature. A summary alarm signal is also provided for connection to a building management system.

EPS Features
 Local /remote logic control
 Wall mounting maintenance bypass unit 
 Remote control key switch
 Power flow status mimic panel
 Low noise level
 Power consumption approx 50 Watts in quiescent mode
 Input and output flexible cables, plugs & sockets
 Systems of 10kVA, 20kVA and 30kVA
 Regen energy absorbsion feature
 BS EN 60146 compliant
 Broad compatibility


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