A motor at the top of the shaft turns a sheave—essentially a pulley—that raises and lowers cables attached to the cab and a counterweight. Gears connect the motor and sheave in slower systems. Faster elevators are gearless; the sheave is coupled directly.
How Do Elevators Work?
Elevators are one of the most commonplace inventions in the world. The idea of a machine that can transport people between floors of a building has been around since the 1600s, but the modern elevator as we know it was developed in the late 19th century. Today, elevators are a ubiquitous part of our lives and are found in most public and commercial buildings, as well as many private homes. But how do elevators actually work?
At its most basic, an elevator is a platform that is attached to a pulley system. This system is composed of several parts, including the elevator cab, the hoistway, the motor, the controller, the counterweight and the guide rails. The elevator cab is the part of the elevator that the passengers ride in. It is typically made of metal or a strong composite material and is designed to keep people safe while they’re inside.
The hoistway is the shaft that the elevator cab travels up and down in. The motor is what powers the elevator. It is usually a large electric motor that is connected to the cab via a pulley system. The controller is a computer that tells the motor what to do and when to do it. The counterweight is a large weight that is connected