UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA SANTA CRUZ TRACTION ELEVATOR DYNAMICS AND CONTROL A thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements

for the degree of BACHELOR OF SCIENCE in PHYSICS by Ahmed Mahmoud 20 March 2009

The thesis of Ahmed Mahmoud is approved by:

Talal Rabiah, P.E. Technical Advisor

Professor Bruce Rosenblum Thesis Advisor

Professor David P. Belanger Chair, Department of Physics

Copyright c by Ahmed Mahmoud 2009


I’m endlessly grateful to Tal Rabiah and Bruce Rosenblum, for encouragement and assistance throughout the writing of this paper; and to my parents, who managed to keep me on track through to completion. Also many thanks to all my fellow UCSC physics students for being the thesis woe bandwagon. Where applicable, good luck on your theses, congratulations on finishing them, and best wishes for you in “The Real World.”

.1. 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. . . . . . . . . . . .2 Potential Energy . .iv Contents Acknowledgements 1 Introduction 2 Unforced Traction Elevator Dynamics 2. . . . .2 Design Kinematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Controller Design 3. . .2 Measurement Schemes 4 Conclusion Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. . .2 Motor Control . . . . . . . . . . .1 Design Goals . . . . . . . 2.1 Kinetic Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. . iii 1 5 6 8 10 12 12 12 14 25 26 29 32 34 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Feedback Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Desired Behavior . . . . . . . . . . .3 Traction Elevator Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

is much less trivial. it is reported. unless there’s some force being impressed on it that you have to fight against. . Unfortunately. humans have been inventing machines to help them hoist loads up and down for centuries. the first recorded passenger elevator conveyed King Louis XV of France from his balcony at the Palace of Versailles to his mistress’ room one storey up [2].1 1 Introduction Moving around on flat surfaces is a relatively trivial task – Newton’s first law makes sure of that: once you get an object moving. In 1743. While the origin of hoisting machines is unclear. engravings on Haterii’s tomb – whose construction was completed sometime around 100BC – depict a cranelike lift powered by men running in a giant hamster wheel. Gravity provides an unremitting force that you have to work against whenever you want to get anything up higher than it started. would only have been accessible in the midnight hours – even to people who had access to tall buildings – because that’s when London’s pollution was at its least opaque) [5]. As a result. moving up. The ascending room lifted visitors to the roof of the Colosseum to view a panorama of London painted by William Horner (an actual panorama. perpendicular to those flat surfaces. The first passenger elevator enjoyed by more than two people at a time was the “ascending room” installed at London’s Colosseum by eminent architect Decimus Burton. you don’t have to do much to keep it moving.

newfangled electric motors were embraced in 1887. the flood of innovations came pouring out: patents involving multiple hoist ropes were issued. and he called this revolutionary device the “safety elevator. and 1889 marks the birth of the ubiquitous and inexpungible traction elevator. however. didn’t come until Elisha Otis’ 1853 demonstration at the Crystal Palace Exhibition. Otis demonstrated an elevator that wouldn’t plummet to its doom if the cable broke. dated 110 BC. The big innovation in elevator technology. On the left you can see a cranelike. .1: Engraving on Haterii’s tomb. humanpowered hoist. and by 1857 passenger elevators were deemed trustworthy enough to earn spots in high-traffic office buildings (installed by the new and expanding Otis elevator company).2 Figure 1. Now that the dam had burst.” The invention of the safety elevator broke the static friction keeping passenger elevators from becoming mainstream.

The traction elevator was an improvement over traditional. which put unnecessary strain on the drive motor by “spooling up” the cable and storing this extra weight on the drum. Then the motor shifts the whole car/cable/counterweight system back and forth by the traction of the cable against the rotating drum. and the way the motor is used to force the system from floor to floor in a useful way. This means studying both the unforced dynamics of a traction elevator-like model (a traction elevator without a motor) so that we can see what the natural tendency of the system is. No spooling necessary! In this paper. On a traction elevator. well-bucket type designs. and the other end is weighted with a counterweight.3 Figure 1. the cable is merely draped over the drum. Otis demonstrated at the Exhibition by standing on the platform while the rope was cut. 1853. The former is a problem in classical mechanics. a problem involving both kinematical techniques . His confidence paid off: Otis is still one of the largest. most successful elevator companies in the world. we will analyze the dynamics of these traction elevators.2: Safety elevator demonstration by Elisha Otis. and we will spend considerable time on the latter. the car is attached at one free end.

figure out the Lagrangian function. and solve the Euler-Lagrange equations to get the system’s equation of motion. In the second chapter. . translate our vague desires into statements about the kinematics.4 and concepts from control theory. and then design a controller that will coerce the motor into bringing about these kinematics. we’ll model the elevator as a one-dimensional classical system. we’ll decide what we actually want the elevator to do. We’ll integrate these equations to get the motion itself. In the first chapter.

The counterweight’s mass is tuned to balance the mass of the car’s structure (typically. Traction elevators were invented to make elevator machines (the lifting mechanism itself) far more graceful and efficient. and you needed a big drum to hold all the cable you’d spooled up. iThe var was moved by turning the drum with a motor and allowing the cable to wrap or unwrap if the car was being lifted or lowered. the motor only needs to provide enough torque to overcome the difference in weight between the car and counterweight. because you can’t bend steel cable around an extremely tight angle or it will wear severely. The motor then simply shifts the cable back and forth over the drum using friction– hence the name traction elevator. which is comparably small. the cable is draped over the drum. This method was extremely tough on the hoisting machinery: you needed a powerful motor because you had to apply an enormous torque to directly lift the car. respectively. With a traction elevator. and a counterweight is attached to the other end.5 2 Unforced Traction Elevator Dynamics Traditional cable elevators from the mid-1800’s consisted of a drum with an attached cable that hung down into the hoistway and connected to the top of the elevator car. the car is attached to one end. it’s chosen to be as massive as the car plus 45% of a full load’s mass) [4]. With this method. and the drum is relieved of its storage responsibility since none of the cable gets spooled up as in the old-fashioned designs. . So old-fashioned elevators used a hefty drum with a large diameter to provide the gentle curvature required. The common case of steel cable was particularly troublesome.

2. Let’s start by obtaining the unforced dynamics. The first part is an analysis of the unforced dynamics: if the motor was disconnected and the drum was allowed to move freely. the net rotation of the drum. If we want the system to move a certain way. and the second part is a problem in control theory. how would the car move? The second part is a treatment of the forced dynamics. There are two parts to the analysis of the dynamics of these traction elevators.1 Kinetic Energy Abstractly.1: Traction elevator vs. the controller design. and a connecting cable.6 Figure 2. what signals do we have to send the motor to achieve that motion? The first part is a problem in classical mechanics. you know the position of the counterweight. a counterweight. while the traction elevator just needs to shift the cable back and forth across the drum.e. a traction elevator is a one-dimensional Lagrangian system consisting of four parts: a car. Traditional hoist. The hoist drum in the traditional design had to “spool up” the cable. and the position of all the points on the cable because . i. The system is one-dimensional because once you specify the height of the car above the ground. a drum.

true to within reasonable tolerances. making the position of any point along its length well-determined . We have to write θ in terms of h. So we have a one-dimensional parametrization of the traction elevator: the height of the car above the ground. We will write the cable’s mass as a linear 1 ˙ 2 . the height is easy to extract. Then the kinetic energy is T = Tcar + Tcw + Tdrum + Tcable (2. the angle that generates a change in car height of h is θ = h R.1) 1 ˙ 2 and Calling the height of the elevator above the ground h. Luckily this isn’t too hard. then the cable won’t have any wiggles in it.7 the cable is taut under its load1 . θ = 0 when h = 0). we can write Tcar = 2 mcar h Tcw = 1 ˙2 2 mcw h . λLh mass density λ times the length of the cable L to obtain Tcable = 2 1 assuming an ideal cable that doesn’t stretch or contract in response to external degrees of freedom. Tdrum is the rotational kinetic energy of the where I is the drum’s moment of inertia and θ coordinatizes the rotation of drum.this is moreor-less true in practical applications. given by 1 ˙2 2 Iθ . The linear speed of the cable is the same as the linear speed of the car. d h 2 So Tdrum = 1 2 I ( dt R ) = 1 ˙2 2R 2 I h . Adding it all together. the drum. Tdrum is slightly more involved. at least. Of course for any configuration of the system. Defining θ = 0 to be the initial angle of the drum (that is. for a drum of radius R.

an L for the length of the cable up and around the drum. around the top of the drum and back down to the ground beneath the counterweight is 2H + πR.4) The car contributes Ucar = gh(mcar ). or η = 2H + πR − L − h and so the potential energy from the car and counterweight together is Ucar + Ucw = gh(mcar ) + g (2H + πR − L − h)mcw = gh(mcar − mcw ) + g (2H + πR − L)mcw (2. where η is the height of the counterweight above the ground.5) Like with the drum’s energy. U = Udrum + Ucar + Ucw + Ucable (2. it makes no contribution to the potential energy. So.2) 2. we can take Udrum = 0 (2. We know that the distance from the ground beneath the car.6) . all the way up the cable. and then you need η more distance to get from the bottom of the cable (where the counterweight is connected) to the ground. leaving us with: Ucar + Ucw = gh(mcar − mcw ) (2. if you start adding distances from the ground beneath the car.8 the kinetic energy for our traction elevator is T = I ˙ 2 λL ˙ 2 mcar ˙ 2 mcw ˙ 2 h + h + h + h 2 2 2R2 2 (2. That is. Let’s name the height of the center of the drum H . we can neglect the second term in the expression above because it’s a constant.3) Since the drum is symmetric as it rotates and its height is fixed. The counterweight contributes Ucw = gη (mcw ). you pick up an h to get to the bottom of the cable. So we can write h + L + η = 2H + πR.2 Potential Energy The total potential energy is the sum of the gravitational potential energy of each compo- nent.

Since we’re assuming the cable has a uniform mass density. since the dangling portions start where the constant semicircular portion ends. The first part is the semicircle that always sits on top of the drum. Their potential energy will be given by the weight of the entire dangling portion times the height of that portion’s center of mass above the ground. This height corresponds to the elevations of the top ends of the two dangling cable portions. the semicircular portion on top of the drum (blue).2: The three cable segments: dangling above the car (green). If the lengths of the two hanging portions are labeled lcar .9 To analyze the contribution the cable makes to the potential energy. the center of mass of each dangling portion will be located halfway up that portion’s length. If we impose the reasonable requirement that the car is never pulled all the way over the drum to the other side. we split the cable into three parts. We can neglect the potential energy from this portion of the cable because it’s constant. The other two parts dangle on either side of the drum. Figure 2. the dangling portion above the counterweight (red). Recall that the height to the center of the drum is H . a portion of the cable will always be in contact with the upper half of the drum.

10) Which for our particular Lagrangian becomes λ ¨ = −g (mcar − mcw ) + 2 (3H + πR − L + 2h) h (mcar + mcw ) + λL + I/R2 (2.3 Traction Elevator Dynamics So the Lagrangian.7) Since H = lcar + h because the bottom end of the cable portion is connected to the car. then remove pesky constant terms in the usual way. to obtain the potential energy of the cable: λgh (3H + πR − L − h) Ucable = 2 (2.13) (2.11) These are the unforced dynamics of our system. the potential energy contributed by the cable is lcar lcw Ucable = (lcar λ)g (H − ) + (lcw λ)g (H − ) 2 2 (2. since πR is the length of the neglected semicircular portion of the cable.9) The unforced dynamics of our one-dimensional system will obey the single Euler-Lagrange equation: d dt ∂L ˙ ∂h = ∂L ∂h (2.10 and lcw . we can solve for the ls in terms of h and constants. L = T − U for our whole traction elevator becomes L= 1 ˙ 2 − gh(mcw − mcar ) − ghλ (3H + πR − L − h) (mcar + mcw + I/R2 + λL)h 2 2 (2. This is an inhomogeneous linear differential equation with constant coefficients: ¨ = αh + β h where α=g λ (mcar + mcw ) + λL + I/R2 (2. and lcar + lcw = L − πR.12) .8) 2.

15) where C1 and C2 are arbitrary constants determined by initial conditions.14) We can integrate this to get the unforced kinematics: h(t) = − √ √ β + C1 e αt + C2 e− αt α (2.11 and β = −g (mcar − mcw ) + λ 2 (3H + πR − L) (mcar + mcw ) + λL + I/R2 (2. There are 2 constants since this was a second order differential equation. .

1 Desired Behavior In order to specify how we need to manipulate the motor to force the desired motions. the ride should be smooth and comfortable. With a little consideration.12 3 Controller Design Let’s now turn our attention to the problem of controller design. and should reach the desired floor with good positioning accuracy. it’s really just a problem for whoever has to pay for the motor! . especially if the passenger works or lives very high up. nor do they like to stand around awkwardly in the moving car for very long.1.1 Design Goals Elevator passengers don’t like to sit around idly waiting for the elevator to arrive at their floor. If the traction elevator will naturally obey the dynamics obtained in the previous section. 3. we should discuss what the desired dynamics actually are. A slow elevator can cause a lot of frustration. we can translate these stated goals into a kinematical description of the desired dynamics. what influence does the motor need to exert in order to get the elevator to go where we want it to go? 3. This isn’t that big a problem for our controller. So an important design goal is speed: the elevator should get from floor to floor as quickly as possible so that the inescapable elevator ride occupies the smallest possible portion of a busy passenger’s day. There are certain design criteria that a good elevator ride should achieve. take as little time as possible. Chiefly.

our elevator ride needs to satisfy . there is a limit on how fast we’re allowed to accelerate to that speed. again experientially. Generally. Although we want the elevator to go as fast as possible from floor-to-floor. after they eventually realized that some of the older elevators accelerated too fiercely. So the elevator controller needs to level accurately without exceeding the acceleration and jerk limits by stopping too abruptly. a reasonably fast elevator goes about 2 m/s at top speed[4]. While acceleration is an important factor to consider when designing for passenger comfort. where 1g is the acceleration due to gravity. This is a tricky thing to do. plastering the riders to the floor. and then coast slowly to the desired position. For concreteness. It would be uncomfortable for most passengers if the elevator took off like a rocket. A reasonable maximum jerk has been found. An elevator that jerks too severely will leave passengers feeling nauseous or disoriented. To summarize. Typical leveling accuracies come within a few millimeters. the rate of change of acceleration. the acceptable acceleration levels for passengers are gentle. The efficacy of this solution still relies on the controller’s ability to decelerate the car into a region very near the desired position so that the time spent adjusting the level is minimized – wasting time readjusting the car’s position would violate the design goal of minimizing the travel time! These are the most important design goals. This value was found through the experience of elevator designers through the ages. Additionally.13 So we won’t spend much time with this important but trivially satisfied criterion. or if the elevator ducked down from underneath them. the elevator should stop with the floor of the car lined up with the floor of its destination. the dynamical quantity that has the greatest effect on the rider is jerk. Jerk is what gives you that feeling in your stomach when you crest a hill on a rollercoaster. That is. a good elevator is required to level extremely accurately. Finally. leaving them floating weightlessly. or about 0. about 1. especially since the accuracy is determined by how well the elevator stops at the floor. A common strategy is to decelerate the car nearly to a stop when it comes somewhat close to the floor. and should be kept roughly constant [1].15g . the jerk shouldn’t endure very long. to be about 2 m/s3 . roughly ± 10 mm [1]. to minimize discomfort.5 m/s2 [1].

While this is a good general outline. The acceleration shouldn’t exceed am = 1. and then show . 2. coasting at a constant velocity. The elevator motion is. the details of the kinematics are a bit more complicated. 4. and decelerating. The position of the car after deceleration should be as close as possible to the position required to level with the destination floor. and shouldn’t exceed jm = 2 m/s3 . 3. we’ll start by analyzing the kinematics of the accelerating phase. because that means that we jerked to that acceleration instantaneously. at first glance.1. The velocity should be as high as possible without violating the jerk or acceleration constraints. The decelerating phase has the same subphases. and then decelerate. violating the constraint that the jerk have magnitude smaller than jm . but with oppositely-signed jerks and accelerations. There are three qualitatively different phases of motion for the elevator: accelerating. extremely straightforward: accelerate from rest to the maximum velocity. but this division of the motion is more than just a useful convenience for doing the math: different phases necessitate different control methods. To simplify our analysis. we’ll break the motion up into phases where the elevator dynamics are qualitatively different. Elevators generally can go roughly vm = 2 m/s. so we need to anticipate that distance when we get near the destination floor. It will be clearer later. Another complication is that it takes a finite distance to decelerate the car to a stop. holding the acceleration. and ramping back down. The jerk should be brief. coast until the car is near the destination floor. we can’t just immediately start accelerating at our maximum acceleration am .5 m/s2 . For one. 3. But now the details enter: the accelerating phase is made up of three subphases: ramping up.14 these constraints: 1.2 Design Kinematics Instead of tackling the problem of generating a motor control for the entire interfloor motion in one fell swoop.

and don’t switch the jerk off until the accelerating phase terminates when the acceleration reaches zero. so we assume that we’re capable of instantaneously maxing the jerk out to jm . We allow this acceleration to continue as long as possible (precisely how long that is will be addressed later because it turns out to be kind of a tricky issue!) before the beginning of the third and final subphase. we drop the jerk back to zero. We want to keep the jerk as constant as possible once we’ve obtained this value. the jerk remains zero. The last subphase is a mirror image of the first one: we slam on the brakes by setting the jerk instantaneously to −jm . and the acceleration is held at its maximum value am . Accelerating and Decelerating We didn’t set a limitation on how quickly we’re allowed to ramp up the jerk. Another constraint dictates that we want the jerk to endure for the shortest duration possible. a finite amount of time will have passed. the car will have picked up some residual velocity and it will have displaced a little bit.15 that we can treat the de celerating phase as a mirrored version of the ac celerating phase. For the second subphase. though. because that’s one of our design constraints. This ends the first subphase of an overall acceleration. So once the elevator car reaches its maximum acceleration am . Proving this will let us take a step back and study the entire elevator motion simply as a constant velocity phase bookended by complementary accelerations that we fully understand. At this point. This will cause the acceleration to increase linearly. An accelerating phase then looks like this: . That’s great– ramping up the velocity is the entire point of accelerating in the first place.

maximum jerk. t1 ] range has a constant. we need to know where the subphase boundaries are. So then the acceleration obeys a1 (t) = jm t and we want to find t1 so that am = a1 (t1 ) = jm t1 which means t1 = am jm (3. We’ll work with the positive acceleration for concreteness.2) (3. The [t0 . We’ll start by finding the boundary times. j2 (t) = 0. a2 (t) = ±am . tk .3) (3.1: The subphases in a single acceleration phase: ramping up (green). but the negative kinematics can be obtained by simply switching the signs on jm and am . a1 (t1 ) = am .16 Figure 3. In order to understand the accelerating kinematics. holding (blue). ramping down (red) The subphases are characterized by the following kinematics: j1 (t) = ±jm . j3 (t) = ∓jm .e. sk . and it turns out to be more convenient for our control system to convert these times into boundary positions. The first boundary at t1 occurs when the acceleration reaches its maximum. i.1) .

the kinematics are extremely similar. since it makes sense that if you push in one direction for some amount of time and then push back in the opposite direction for the same amount of time. for the range [t2 . though. we’ll just define a convenient label for its duration because it’s extremely important: th ≡ t2 − t1 (3. so that a3 (t3 ) = a2 − jm (t3 − t2 ) meaning that we want t3 − t2 = a2 jm (3.8) The duration of the holding subphase ([t1 .4) where a2 is shorthand for at (t2 ). Hence a3 (t) = a2 − jm (t − t2 ) (3. you undo the effect of pushing in the first place. This proves that the “ramping time” is well-defined. which becomes the initial acceleration in the third subphase. the acceleration at the end of the second subphase. and a similar but slightly more complicated version of the above symmetry will be key when we analyze the overall elevator motion.7) Evidently.5) but the acceleration is constant and equal to am for the entire second phase. maximally negative jerk: j3 (t) = −jm . t2 ]) can’t be obtained without more knowledge of the overall picture. Instead. so we won’t try and figure it out at the moment. so we will be careful to prove these kinds of symmetry results instead of assuming them to be true.9) . There are some situations where this intuition fails.6) (3. however. so that the third phase starts off with a2 = am and t3 − t2 = am = t1 jm (3. The range is defined to have a constant. This shouldn’t be surprising.17 In fact. so we can distinguish it with its own symbol: tr ≡ t1 = t3 − t2 (3. These kinds of results are extremely useful. the duration of the ramping down phase is the same as the duration of the ramping up phase. t3 ].

14) where the value of third average acceleration can be justified with the same argument as the first. t3 ].19) (3. and further the acceleration is constantly am from t1 until t2 . Then the final velocity is v3 = v0 + t1 am /2 + (t2 − t1 )am + (t3 − t2 )am /2 = v0 + tr am /2 + th am + tr am /2 = v0 + am (tr + th ) = v0 + am t2 (3. Since this maximum acceleration is am at t2 .20) . t1 ] subphase the acceleration is increasing uniformly.13) (3. the acceleration spends equal time being higher and lower than half the maximum acceleration obtained. the average accelerations are given by a ¯ 1 = am /2 a ¯ 2 = am a ¯ 3 = am /2 (3.16) (3. v3 th = = 0 + am (tr + th ) v3 − tr am (3. We can break this up: v3 = v0 + a ¯ ¯ ¯ 1 t1 + a 2 (t2 − t1 ) + a 3 (t3 − t2 ) (3.17) (3.12) (3.18) It turns out that the holding time th is the same for an accelerating phase bringing the velocity up from 0 to v3 or a decelerating phase bringing the velocity down from v3 to 0.11) Since in the [t0 .18 The next pressing question we need to answer is: what is the velocity achieved at the end of the accelerating phase? We can find the velocity with the following nifty trick: v 3 = v0 + a ¯t3 (3.15) (3.10) where v0 is the initial velocity and a ¯ is the average acceleration over the range [t0 .

24) (3.21) (3. We’ll maintain the convention that a function of motion written without an argument.23) (3. tricky way to prove this. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. but we need to derive the kinematics anyway. we’ll integrate the characteristic kinematics until we get the position function for the whole acceleration. starting velocity of v3 . With this result in hand. Acceleration Kinematics For each subphase. and acceleration of −am . The jerk is what we start with: j1 (t) = jm j2 (t) = 0 (3. you get 0 th = v3 − am (tr + th ) = v3 − tr am (3. like s2 (t2 ).25) j3 (t) = −jm Integrating to get acceleration: a1 (t) = jm t (3. The bridge to proving that result is an acquisition of the position kinematics for the entire course of the acceleration phase1 . is defined to be the value of that function evaluated at the subphase’s end time. we can greatly simplify our picture of the overall elevator motion. accelerating to cruising speed takes the same amount of time as stopping the car once it’s at the cruising speed! This symmetry is the first step towards showing the most important result of this section: that accelerating to cruising speed and stopping a car going at cruising speed covers the same distance.19 while for an ending velocity of zero. like s2 .26) 1 There’s probably a really slick. The initial conditions used in the integration of each subphase will be inducted recursively from the subphase before it.22) Behold! this checks out: apparently. so we might as well use them and make the proof messy but straightforward .

Then + − s+ 3 (t3 .35) is a known constant. v0 = v3 ) (3. Similarly.27) (3.31) (3.34) (3. Unfortunately we still need to defer that discussion.33) (3. We’ve already + derived that v3 = am t2 when v0 = 0.30) (3. s− k (t) will be used for the position function when jm and am are negative. But there is also good news: we’re now ready to derive the main fact for this section: Let s+ k (t) denote the position function for the k th subphase when jm and am are chosen to be positive.20 a2 (t) a3 (t) = am = a2 − jm (t − t2 ) = am − jm (t − t2 ) (3.29) Here it should be noted explicitly that the time argument is the absolute time in the acceleration phase. the only thing we don’t know about the acceleration phase’s motion is the holding time. Now velocity: 1 v1 (t) = v0 + jm t2 2 v2 (t) = v1 + am (t − t1 ) v3 (t) = v2 + am (t − t2 ) = 1 jm (t − t2 )2 2 (3. durations spent in the subphase are given by the difference between the time argument and the absolute time that marks the beginning of the subphase. v0 = 0).36) + is the residual velocity at the end of the motion modeled by s+ where v3 3 (t3 . So for subphases 2 and 3.28) (3. . and v0 is a parameter that we specify.32) Finally. v0 = 0) = s3 (t3 . integrating one more time we get the position: s1 (t) s2 (t) s3 (t) Since t1 = tr = am jm 1 = v0 t + jm t3 6 1 = s1 + v1 (t − t1 ) + am (t − t1 )2 2 1 1 = s2 + v2 (t − t2 ) + am (t − t2 )2 − jm (t − t2 )3 2 6 (3.

This is a somewhat tricky problem because there are two cases that have different expressions for the holding time.21 So. The only thing we need to know is th : how long we should hold the acceleration at its maximum value.37) (3.42) + Simplifying.38) Expanding s2 and v2 . and remembering that t2 = tr + th .40) But this time. both accelerating and decelerating take the same amount of time and cover the same distance.43) The Coasting Phase Now we know essentially everything about the accelerating and decelerating phases.41) 1 1 2 jm t2 r t2 + am t2 2 2 (3.39) Which simplifies to s+ 3 (t3 ) = For the decelerating version s− 3 (t3 ) 1 1 3 = s2 + v2 tr − am t2 r + jm tr 2 6 (3. we end up with s+ 3 (t3 ) = 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 3 jm t3 r + jm tr th + am th + jm tr + am th tr + am tr − jm tr 6 2 2 2 2 6 (3. we pick up factors of the initial + velocity. so the expansion this time is s− 3 (t3 ) = am t2 tr − 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 jm t3 r + am t2 th − jm tr th − am th − am th 6 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 3 + am t2 tr − jm t3 r − am th tr − am tr + jm tr 2 2 6 (3. it is indeed found that when v0 = v3 s− 3 (t3 ) = 1 1 2 jm t2 r t2 + am t2 2 2 (3. when the initial conditions are expanded. and then recursing and expanding s1 and v1 when they show up. we already know that 1 1 2 3 s+ 3 (t3 ) = s2 + v2 (t3 − t2 ) + am (t3 − t2 ) − jm (t3 − t2 ) 2 6 1 1 3 = s2 + v2 tr + am t2 r − jm tr 2 6 (3. v3 = am t2 . including the fact that over the course of our elevator motion. .

In this case.46) 2s3 = v2 am vm + m jm am (3.47) which for our reasonable maximum values of am = 1. is more than 4m! We’re unable to move just one floor– we’ll overshoot it! A faster elevator will overshoot even more horribly. Substituting th into our expression for the displacement due to acceleration.22 To meet the design goal of making the elevator ride as short as possible. vm = 2m/s.45) This is the value of the holding time in one of the two cases. Recall that th = v3 − tr am (3.0m/s3 . v2 vm + am m am a2 m (3. Then the holding time should be whatever time it takes to make v3 = vm . the holding time should be th = vm vm am − tr = − am am jm (3. So there is a second case where we need to find th : the case where the elevator never reaches its maximum velocity and starts the decelerating phase immediately after the accelerating phase. Say that the interfloor distance is ∆H . jm = 2. the distance the elevator travels is exactly 2s3 . the combination of accelerating and decelerating phases takes up quite a lot of space.44) so then if we want to get to top speed. so we can find th given the distance we need to go in order to get to the desired floor. we should get the car going as fast as possible. we get 2s3 = jm t2 r recalling tr = am jm .48) We can use the quadratic equation to solve for t2 : t2 = − am + jm a2 m + 2am ∆H 2 jm (3. Then ∆H = 2s3 = 1 a2 m t2 + am t2 2 jm 2 (3. potentially missing multiple floors.49) . But if we accelerate all the way to vm .5m/s2 .

In particular. In the second case. . that phase boundaries should be labeled by their positions. and reach maximum velocity. and are labeled pk . To get to floors farther away than this distance. Otherwise. the two accelerating phases always cover a constant distance.23 Since t2 = tr + th . the elevator needs to undergo a phase where it coasts at its maximum velocity far enough to make the whole trip cover ∆H . not times. in case ∆H is too small to accommodate two full acceleration/deceleration phases. Here’s a diagram of the acceleration vs. though. then th is given by th = − am + jm am + jm am a2 m + 2am ∆H − 2 jm jm a2 m + 2am ∆H 2 jm (3.50) = −2 So. because positions are more useful for the controller that we’ll be talking more about later. the coasting time needs to be tc = and then the deceleration phase should begin. The transitions are clear on this diagram. choose th = vm am − am jm . distance. m choose th = −2 a jm + a2 m 2 jm + 2am ∆H .51) Global Goal Kinematics Now we have all the information about the desired elevator kinematics! We’ve already mentioned. ∆H − 2s3 vm (3.

2: The overall acceleration profile.52) p2 is farther from p1 by the distance covered in the holding phase.24 Figure 3.54) . 1 1 a2 1 m 2 p2 = s+ = p + v t + a t = p + th + am t2 1 1 h m 1 h h 2 2 2 jm 2 (3. so p3 = p2 + p1 (3.53) p3 is another ramping phase after the holding phase. Its displacement is the same as the displacement in p1 . We’ll leave th as th . with the understanding that the applicable th is the shorter one. p1 is given by the distance covered in the ramping up phase: p1 = s+ 1 = 1 a2 m 6 jm (3. The coasting phase (blue) may not be present of p5 is small.

. we need to figure out what signals we have to send the motor via the controller in order to achieve that motion. Controllability is usually defined to mean that the output can be driven to zero rather than any desired state.2 Motor Control So now that we know the way we want the elevator to move. we’ll use controllability here to really mean reachability. The difference being somewhat formal. we have to assume controllability : that the actuators have enough influence over the elevator car that we can eventually drive the car to a state that exhibits the desired sensor measurements just by controlling the actuators2 . though.55) From here on. This one is easy to label because the displacements in this phase match the displacements in the accelerating phase! p5 = p4 + p1 (3. Before we do anything. So. what we need is a method that will drive the sensor measurements to their desired values by controlling the actuators. and is a more evocative term.57) p7 = p4 + p3 (3.56) p6 = p4 + p2 (3. Fundamentally. Assuming 2 Actually. like much of the literature. and we need to be more specific about what sensors and actuators are available to us in this particular application. what we’re assuming is reachability.25 p4 marks the end of the coasting phase: p4 = p 3 + vm t c = p3 + ∆H − 2 1 am 1 a2 m am ( + th ) + am ( + th )2 2 jm jm 2 jm (3. Once we’ve got these tools in hand. we need to understand some of the basic notions of controller design. we can apply them to the goal kinematics derived above and come up with our controller design. it’s just another decelerating phase. To do this.58) 3. The control signals we actually send the actuators will be based on the difference between the desired sensor values and the current sensor values. the word “controllability” is often abused to mean reachability.

3. u) (x0 . open loop controllers can be used in the real world for some simple systems. but their utility can’t compare with those of closed loop controllers. the state will be pushed around in a neighborhood of its starting state – it won’t jump off to a completely different state unless you drive it really hard. and the state changes according to what control signal you give it while it’s in a particular state.26 controllability allows us to get down to business in earnest without worrying about whether or not our control scheme will be a Sisyphean failure: without controllability. u parametrizes the control signal (the “input”).u) (x0 .u0 ) ∂f (x. An open loop controller simply directs the actuators.u0 ) ∂f (x. u0 ) + where ∂f ∂ (x.2.59) (3. and we assume it to be differentiable. u) ∂ (x. making them capable of reconsidering the best signal to send based on what the response actually was. We’ll construct a closed loop.62) is the Jacobian of f at the point in question. u) = f (x0 . These equations mean that the sensor value depends on the actual state of the system. and assumes that they’re responding in exactly the way predicted by the model of the system. Surprisingly. u) (x0 . and y parametrizes the sensor measurements (the “output”).60) where x parametrizes the system’s state. u) y = g (x) (3.u0 ) (3. This local linearity means that as long as we keep our adjustments small. The function f is called the system map.1 Feedback Control There are two types of controller: open and closed loop. or feedback controller for our elevator. u0 ) + = x ˙ (x0 . The mathematical model of a control system is traditionally written in the form: x ˙ = f (x. (If . u) ∂ (x.61) (3. Closed loop controllers actually measure the response of the system to the control signals. controlling the system is as hopeless as screaming Latin directions louder and louder to someone who only speaks English. Then we can Taylor expand the system map to get a local linear approximation: x ˙ (x.

and the process starts again. This type of controller is called a feedback controller. the output . but the sensor measurements from the elevator are subtracted so that the error continues into the controller. Now. The goal is fed into the system. and apply the actuators in such a way that the current measurements inch towards the goal by a small portion of the difference. This reduces our primary question from “how do we find the appropriate actuator signals from the sensor measurements?” to “how do we find the appropriate actuator signals from the error between the current measurements and the desired ones?” In the simplest case. recompute the difference and iterate this whole process until the difference goes to zero. The control signal is then fed to the elevator. In practice. you might need to be extremely gentle with the system. Figure 3. because the response of the system to the actuators is measured and fed back into the controller so that it can consider the most recently measured deviation from the desired state.27 the Jacobian has a massive determinant. we have some idea of how to control this system: find the difference between the goal measurements and the current measurements.3: A feedback controller.) So by assuming local linearity and controllability. systems that jumpy usually have their hardware redesigned so that the controller doesn’t have to be so careful.

the proportional weight. The “integral” part influences the actuator signal while the system spends too much time in a state different from the desired one. a proportional controller (often abbreviated “P Controller”) is usually too simple to be a good control system. and multiple actuators to control. or gain . the actuator signal should look like the difference vector between the two states. but it also takes into account a weighted sum of the integral and derivative of the state discrepancy. In practice. So thinking geometrically. or rate. the integral weight. With a PID controller. Each of these contributions are combined in a weighted sum. and maybe rotated3 . and so will tend to stabilize oscillation and overshoot. While the system might reach the goal state. they don’t necessarily transform like Euclidean vectors.28 signals to the actuators will be proportional to the error. and kd . the “derivative” part contributes to the actuator signal as the error keeps oscillating wildly. because while lists of sensor measurements look like Euclidean vectors because they’re a list of real numbers. so a PID controller is specified with its three weights: kp . Integral. there’s no guarantee that it will stay there and not oscillate around the goal forever. or it might stabilize to a constant value very quickly. This means that the input and output signals are vectors and the constant of proportionality is then a matrix. Keep in mind that there are generally multiple sensor measurements describing a state. 3 This isn’t strictly a reasonable intuition. the derivative weight. ki . . but stretched or squashed. Derivative” controller. but might not stabilize exactly where we want it to. That is. These problems are corrected by extending the P controller to a PID controller: a “Proportional. so it will tend to increase the steady-state accuracy of the controller. not only is the actuator signal proportional to the state discrepancy. in order to drag the state closer to the desired state. So we need to be wary about conclusions suggested by our geometric intuition of these states. or reset .

we need to know what measurements we need to take over the course of the elevator ride. an extremely clever instrument called an encoder can be used to measure position. and we get velocity. we just take difference quotients of position measurements at different points in time. however.2. or with specialty software. we just need to know that the PID controller is the natural extension to the almost obvious P controller. but there are many different methods with their advantages and disadvantages. . The outputted control signal is a weighted sum of the integral. Tuning these controller weights isn’t easy. Luckily. see [3].4: This is a “zoomed-in” version of the controller portion of the feedback system. With a timer. Since all of our goals are kinematical. acceleration and jerk. and value of the discrepancy between the actual and goal states. derivative. For the purposes of this paper. For more detail.29 Figure 3. PID controller tuning is often done empirically. and that it can be tuned for our system. 3.2 Measurement Schemes Now that we have a general idea of how a feedback controller should work. all the measurements we need can be determined from the position of the elevator.

if we are trying to maintain a constant velocity. By the very nature of a PID controller. or just the solid metal. so if we know the number of photoreceptor pulses. But the controller will do everything in its power to regulate that measurement. we need to measure position constantly. and so if we aren’t careful about which quantities we’re controlling. As the car moves. the quantity that we are measuring will be regulated so that it maintains its goal value. By counting the number of pulses. we are capable of measuring all the kinematical quantities that we’d like to control. because the position of the car is what tells the controller when to change kinematics (since there are slightly different kinematics in each phase!). Ideally there will be a microcontroller or something that is constantly polling the position and resetting the controller goal values appropriately when each phase of motion begins. and a timer so that we can take derivatives of the displacements measured by the encoder. other design goals might get violated. you know the number of gaps the elevator has passed on its trip. and a perforated strip of metal running up and down the length of the hoistway is arranged so that it is in the path of the laser beam on the car. For example. we know the distance that the car has traveled! Combined with a sensor keeping track of which direction the elevator is moving.30 An encoder is an apparatus with a laser pointed at a photoreceptor. but there is some snag in the hoistway that drops the velocity pretty severely. Then the output from the photoreceptor will look like a series of pulses. the controller will notice this discrepancy and work really hard to ramp the velocity back up– even if it means violating the acceleration limits! This problem can’t be avoided entirely without getting extremely fancy. the photoreceptor either sees the laser or doesn’t see the laser. but it can be mediated by being careful about which quantity we control during each phase. The measuring schemes are as follows: . depending on whether the car is passing a gap in the perforated strip. The gaps are evenly spaced. What we need to decide is which quantity should be accountable for meeting its goal measurement during each phase. This apparatus is placed on the outside of the elevator car. Of course.

If our controller is reasonably good. but the velocity will likely be off by a bit. In reality. so the acceleration and jerk limits won’t be exceeded. p1 ] [p1 . but we should clean it up by controlling exactly on position. the controller will probably have to make very small adjustments. p8 ] Releveling Goal Quantity j a j v j a j s The final phase doesn’t appear in our earlier analysis. As long as the elevator car isn’t way off. and then by the end of the whole ride we can be completely sure that the passenger is where they wanted to be. and the position will probably be off more than our design goals will allow.31 Phase [0. especially since we spent the last phase measuring the jerk : the acceleration is probably correct by the end of that phase. DING! . Our analysis assumes that the controller gets the car to stop right at its destination. p6 ] [p7 . We now have a complete description of the controller for the elevator. the position should at least be very close to within tolerances. and a complete knowledge of the kinematics that the elevator should achieve. the controller won’t do a perfect job. Our analysis of the kinematics of a traction elevator has come to its end. p3 ] [p3 . p4 ] [p4 . We also know how the elevator would have behaved without the controller from the previous section. p5 ] [p5 . p2 ] [p2 .

We found that its unforced behavior was essentially that of a complicated Atwood machine. holding. With buildings getting taller and taller. the accelerating and decelerating phases were completely antisymmetric. huge skyscrapers like Taipei 101 and the Burj Dubai have elevators that are so fast and so tall that their cables experience vibration significant enough to severely affect the ride quality[6]. We found the the accelerating and decelerating phases were themselves made up of ramping up.32 4 Conclusion In this paper. We then discussed the design of a device for making the elevator obey our demands on its kinematics (instead of just crashing to the ground like the unforced system would!). making analysis of the global motion much simpler because the two inevitable phases both drove the car the same distance. we’ve explored the dynamics – forced and unforced – of the most common elevator in use: the electric traction elevator. We settled on a PID feedback controller that controlled different kinematical variables during different phases of the elevator’s motion: accelerating. and with computers becoming more and more prevalent in every mechanical system we build. and involves measuring equipment much more sophisticated than the tried-and-true . The modeling and control of these systems involves differential equations of fourth order. and ramping down subphases. since the instantaneous rate of change of acceleration was constrained by our kinematical demands. For example. coasting at constant speed. and the car with the passengers onboard would be obliterated. and decelerating. the advance of elevator control technology is necessary and inevitable. Furthermore. the whole system would crash to the ground exponentially fast. and if even slightly unbalanced.

.33 encoders utilized in this paper. the general machinery remains the same. cutting-edge elevators. the electric traction elevator will likely continue to serve the towering structures of the future. which are so perfectly tuned to their environment that they haven’t changed much in a hundred million years. Like sharks. Despite the complex difficulties that arise when trying to control these new.

Down. Across: Elevators. and Control. 2001. Green. Merrell. February 2006. 1990. Curiosities of London. Up. Longmans. Cho. Ellis Horwood Limited. Control systems for ultra-high rise elevators. [3] Aidan O’Dwyer. [6] S. 123(4):687–690. R. Wiley. [4] G Strakosch. The Vertical Transportation Handbook. M.34 Bibliography [1] GC Barney. 1868. . Reader and Dyer. 2 edition. Journal of Dynamic Systems. [5] J Timbs. Measurement. Elevator Electric Drives. Venkatesh and Y. Imperial College Press. 1998. Handbook of Pi And Pid Controller Tuning Rules. Escalators and Moving Sidewalks. 2003. [2] A Goetz.

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