Energy consumption of escalators in low traffic environment

Semen Uimonen*, Toni Tukia, Marja Liisa Siikonen, Dirk Lange, Claudio Donghi, Xiao Liang Cai, Hannu Nousu, Harri Hakala, Matti Lehtonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Lack of information on energy consumption patterns of intermittent-operating escalators and unawareness of building owners of potential energy savings constitute the main obstacles for the penetration of energy-efficient escalator technology. Even though intermittent operation provides large energy savings in low passenger traffic, little research has been devoted to analyzing the composition of total energy consumption in these situations. This paper presents observations and data gathered during long-term energy measurements of an intermittent-operating escalator pair (one upwards, one downwards operating), equipped with reduced speed and stop & go modes, installed in a store in the Helsinki area. Energy consumption measurements were performed concurrently with people counting. The effect of passengers walking on the step band on daily energy consumption was calculated by relying on the people counting sensor data. Additional experiments were conducted by applying different masses to analyze the dependence of energy consumption on the carried load. Finally, the effect of intermittent operation, or speed control with stop & go functionality, on energy consumption was calculated for the escalator pair on the given site. The energy consumption is reduced up to 42% in the upwards running escalator and 52% in the downwards running escalator compared to a continuously running escalator with the same operating hours. The study concludes that the power consumption profiles of the intermittent-operating escalator pair highly depend on the characteristics of the people flow, mainly the consistency of the people flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Energy consumption
  • Error compensation
  • Escalators
  • Intermittent-operating escalators
  • Load profile
  • People flow

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