Motor Sizing and Selection and

Braking
Selected Topics in Mechatronics 0908589

© Copyright held by the author, 2010: Lutfi Al-Sharif Page 1 of 3

Chapter 21
Motor Selection for elevators and escalators, Notes on drives
Revision 1.0, 13/12/2010

Running current and starting current
1) Rule of thumb on starting currents for different types of drives:

a. Direct on line starting: 7 times of the rated current
b. Star-delta starting: 3.5 times of the rated current.
c. Variable voltage starting (electronic soft-starter): 2.5 times of the rated
current.
d. Variable frequency drive starting: 1.5 times of the rated current.

2) The calculation of the running rated current is carried out using the equations
below:

|
|
.
|

\
|
× ×
=
× × × =
) cos 3
) cos 3
(Φ V
P
I
(Φ I V P
L
L
L L

Where:
P is the power drawn by the three phase load in W
I
L
is the line current (full load, rated current) in A
V
L
is the line voltage in V (400 V)
Φ is the phase angle (assume cos(Φ) as 0.85 lagging)

Elevator motor sizing
3) The power rating of an elevator motor is sized as follows:

( )
M
P s CF
=
× × × × ÷ 75 981 1 .
q

Where:
M is the power of the motor in W
P is the number of passengers
75 is the mass of a passenger in kg
9.81 is the acceleration due to gravity (g) in m/s
2

s is the speed of the elevator in m/s
CF is the counterweight factor (typical value 0.45)
η is the overall efficiency of the elevator

4) Calculate the motor size for the following elevators:

a) 1 m/s lift, 1000 kg/13 person, 0.45 counterweight ratio and 85% total
efficiency, variable voltage. (Answer: P 6.2 kW; M 7.5 kW; I
FL
12.89 A; I
ST

32 A).
Motor Sizing and Selection and
Braking
Selected Topics in Mechatronics 0908589

© Copyright held by the author, 2010: Lutfi Al-Sharif Page 2 of 3

b) 4 m/s, 1600 kg/21 person, 0.45 counterweight ratio and 90% total
efficiency, variable frequency drive. (Answer: P 37.8 kW; M 45 kW; I
FL
76.4
A; I
ST
114.6 A).

c) Hydraulic lift, running at 0.63 m/s, 630 kg/8 person, 75% efficiency (CF for
hydraulic lifts is -1), star delta starting. (Answer: P 9.9 kW; M 11 kW; I
FL

18.7 A; I
ST
65 A).

5) Preferred motor sizes in kW are:
1.1, 1.5, 2.2, 3, 4, 5.5, 7.5, 11, 15, 18.5, 22, 30, 37, 45

Escalator motor sizing
6) The equation for sizing the motor is shown below:

1000
) sin(
) (
×
+ × ×
|
|
.
|

\
|
× × ×
=
q
u
H
s
E
P s
R
R
n g m
kW P

where:
g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s
2
)
m is the mass of the passenger (75 kg/person)
n is the number of passengers per step (2 for 1000 mm; 1.5 for 800 mm; 1 for
600 mm)
R
E
is the vertical escalator rise in m
R
S
is the vertical escalator step rise in m
θ is the angle of the incline of the escalator to the horizontal in degrees
s is the speed of the escalator in m/s
P
H
is the power needed to move the handrails (usually taken as 2000 W)
η is the overall efficiency of the escalator
P is the power drawn by the escalator under full load conditions in kW

Always use the step vertical rise as 200 mm.

7) Select a suitable motor for the following escalators. In each case find the power
drawn in kW, the rated full load current in A and the starting current in A.:

a) Vertical rise: 3.2 m; speed: 0.5 m/s; angle of incline: 35 degrees; step
width: 600 mm; overall efficiency 85%, direct on line starting. (Answer: P
5.96 kW; Motor: 7.5 kW; I
FL
12.7 A; I
ST
89 A)

b) Vertical rise: 5 m; speed: 0.65 m/s; angle of incline: 30 degrees; step
width: 800 mm; overall efficiency: 75%, variable-frequency drive. (Answer:
P 14.62 kW; M 15 kW; I
FL
25.47 A; I
ST
38.2 A)

c) Vertical rise: 6.5 m; speed: 0.75 m/s; angle of incline: 30 degrees; step
width: 1000 mm; overall efficiency: 85%, variable voltage-drive. (Answer:
P 23.45 kW; M 30 kW; I
FL
50.94; I
ST
127.4 A)

Motor Sizing and Selection and
Braking
Selected Topics in Mechatronics 0908589

© Copyright held by the author, 2010: Lutfi Al-Sharif Page 3 of 3

d) Vertical rise: 2 m; speed: 0.5; angle of incline: 26 degrees; step width 800
mm, overall efficiency 90%, star-delta starting. (Answer: P 4.9 kW; M 5.5
kW; I
FL
9.34 A; I
ST
32.7 A).

8) Preferred motor sizes in kW are:

1.1, 1.5, 2.2, 3, 4, 5.5, 7.5, 11, 15, 18.5, 22, 30 ■

Types of braking
9) The braking in elevators is made up of electrical and mechanical braking. The
elevator is brought to standstill by the use of electrical braking. It is then held in
place by the use of the mechanical brake.

10) The mechanical brake in elevators and escalator is necessary for safety. It is
usually spring applied and electromagnetically lifted.

11) The braking in escalators is usually mechanical braking.

12) The electrical braking can either dissipate the energy into a dynamic braking
resistor or it can be returned back to the supply using a regenerative unit
(basically another inverter connected across the rectifier back to the supply).

Types of drives
13) The drives in elevators are either variable voltage or variable frequency.

14) One of the problems with variable voltage and variable frequency drives is the
fact that they draw harmonics from the supply and thus cause distortion.

15) One possible solution for the harmonics problem is to use an active front end
rectifier (also called sinusoidal front end rectifier).