US 3658155 A
A plurality of separate elevator cars are movable vertically in the same elevator shaft. Each car is self-propelled and can move laterally from the shaft at any floor, to a loading or unloading station, leaving the shaft clear for passage of other cars past that station in the same shaft. All cars move upwardly in one shaft and when they reach the top are transferred to the top of a second shaft and can move downwardly therein in the same leap-frog manner. As each car reaches the bottom of the second shaft it transfers to the bottom of the first shaft for upward movement therein.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Salter [451 Apr. 25, 1972  ELEVATOR SYSTEM 3,464.363 9/1969 Wishart ..l86ll x  Inventor: g; :E'gi'ugggg lnkster Road Primary Examiner-Richard E.Aegerter 8 Assistant Examiner-Merle F. Maffei  Filed: Sept. 15, 1970 AtrorneyBacon & Thomas 21 Appl. No.: 72,480
 ABSTRACT A plurality of separate elevator cars are movable vertically in the same elevator shaft. Each car is self-propelled and can move laterally from the shaft at any floor, to a loading or unloading station, leaving the shaft clear for passage of other cars past that station in the same shaft. All cars move upwardly in one shaft and when they reach the top are transferred to the top of a second shaft and can move downwardly therein in the same leap-frog manner. As each car reaches the bottom of the second shaft it transfers to the bottom of the first shaft for upward movement therein.
5 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures i 1 10s l w PATEHTEB AFR 2 5 I972 SHEET 2 [IF 5 I'vVIJNI UH. WILLIAM G. SALTER III/III I1III]IIIIIIIIII/(IIIIIII/ljll PAYENTEU PR 2 5 IS? INVENTOR.
WILUAH G. SALTER ATTUHNHYS ELEVATOR SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is in the field of elevator systems for multistory buildings.
Conventional elevator systems employ a vertical shaft for each elevator car; thus, if eight elevators are needed for a building, eight different shafts must be provided and obviously this occupies a great deal of floor space. Each elevator car is conventionally suspended from a cable system extending vertically through the shaft and by which the car is removed. It has been proposed to provide two or more cars in each shaft but each car must move in unison with the others. It has also been proposed to provide elevators going up in one shaft and down in an adjacent shaft whereby a plurality of cars may be moving in the same direction at the same time in a single shafl. All such proposals, however, involved simultaneous movement of all cars so that when one of them stops, they all stop.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an elevator system for a multi-story structure wherein a multiplicity of elevator cars use the same shaft but move and stop therein independently of each other. The shaft defines a vertical passageway for the movement of the cars and has guide means for guiding the cars vertically therein. At each story level of the building guide means are provided to be selectively engaged by a car so that it can be caused to move laterally out of the vertical passageway to a stop position at that story level, thus leaving the main vertical passageway clear and unobstructed for the passage of other elevator cars therein. In a preferred form, two adjacent elevator shafts are provided and all the cars move upwardly in one shaft, then are transferred to the other and moved downwardly therein, all cars being capable of stopping at any story level at a position clear of the vertical shaft. At the bottom of the second shaft the cars are then transferred to the bottom of the first or up shaft and the cycle is repeated. Thus, a great number of elevator cars may be employed in the two vertical shafts.
In another embodiment of the invention, a main floor level carrying heavy passenger traffic is arranged so that the guide means of the vertical shaft provide at least two vertical shaft portions at the main story level and, thus, at least two cars may be simultaneously stopped at the main floor.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a schematic vertical sectional view through a multi-story building showing the elevator system of the present invention in diagrammatic form;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken on the line 22 ofFIG.1;
FIG. 3 is a further enlarged vertical sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view corresponding to the upper central portion of FIG. 3, showing parts in greater detail;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side view of a portion of the system with parts shown in section;
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a schematic vertical sectional view, similar to FIG. I, but showing a different embodiment;
FIGS. 9 and 10 are fragmentary side views of portions of the system of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 11 is an enlarged vertical sectional view on the line 11l1ofFlG. 10.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to FIG. I, a multi-story building structure 2 is shown as having a plurality of floor-ceiling slabs 4, defining different story levels for the building. Openings 6 in the slabs 4 define elevator shafts comprising a first shaft 8 and a second shaft 10 separated by a partition wall 12. Extending upwardly in the shaft 8 and downwardly in the shaft 10 is a central guide and traction arrangement 14, to be described in greater detail. At each story level lateral guide and traction means 16 are provided which will also be described later. The openings 6 in the slabs 4, on each side of the partition 12 are of sufficient width to accommodate two elevator cars, one moving upwardly or downwardly along the central guide means 14 and another at a stop position on a selected one of the horizontal means 16. It is contemplated that each story level be provided with more or less conventional elevator doors, as shown in dotted line at 18 at the lowermost floor, in FIG. I. The central guide means 14 are joined at their top by a horizontal continuation thereof 20 and at the bottom of the building by a horizontal continuation thereof 22 whereby the central guide means 14 are in eflect a continuous loop with a vertical portion in each of the shafts 8 and 10.
A multiplicity of identical elevator cars 24 are provided. As shown in FIG. 1 eight such cars are present. Each elevator car 24 is provided with a suspension and traction device, indicated in FIG. 1, generally by the numeral 26, and which will be described in greater detail hereafter. Each of the devices 26 engages the guide and traction means 14-16 to not only support each elevator car but to provide traction for moving each car along the guiding means independently of movement of the other cars. Each car 24 is also provided with rollers 28 carried by pivoted arms 30. The arms 30 are normally held in the position shown by torsion springs 31 (see FIG. 2). Each arm can be pivoted in either direction about its pivot 33 against the resistance of spring 31. The partition 12 is provided with guide rails 32 engageable by certain of the rollers 28 and at each story level there are provided guide rails 34 for engagement of the two upper rollers 28 of the cars. When the rollers 28 engage either rails 32 or 34 the springs 31 are slightly flexed, to provide stability to the car. It will be obvious that an elevator car moving upwardly in the shaft 8 and suspended from the mechanism 26 will be stabilized by the rollers 28 on one side thereof engaging the track 32. Likewise when a car 24 is on one of the lateral guide means 16, at a stop position, the upper and lower guide rollers on that car engage trackways 34 to stabilize the car. Means to be described provide an independent source of power for each elevator car 24 and which power sources drives traction members engageable with the guide means to cause an elevator car to move along the described guide means. Any car can be caused to continue vertical movement in either shaft past the various story levels or may be caused to move laterally along a selected one of the lateral guides I6 to stop position at a selected story level, thus leaving the main elevator shaft free and unobstructed for movement of other cars therein.
Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, it can be seen that the shaft 8 is provided with the central guide means 14 on each side thereof and on opposite sides of the elevator cars 24. Each guide means 14 comprises a housing having a guide slot 38 extending along the wall thereof facing the elevator car. Within the housing are three longitudinally extending toothed racks 40, 42 and 44. Each elevator car 24 is provided, preferably on the roof thereof, with a drive motor 46 driving through a chain 48 to a sprocket 50 on an internally splined sleeve 52 journalled in suitable bearings 54. A pair of splined shafts 56 telescopically engage within the splined sleeve 52 to be rotated thereby but being free for axial sliding movement therein. The outer end portions of the shafts 56 are journalled in suitable bearings 58, and at its outer end each shaft 56 has a gear 60 fured thereon and meshing with a rack 40, 42 or 44. The teeth on the three racks are all in alignment so that, where the three racks are side by side, they are in effect a single wide rack.
Each shaft 56 is provided with a collar 62 fixed thereon and to which is pivoted an end of an adjacent link 64. The other ends of the links 64 are pivoted, on a common axis 66, to a piston rod 68 extending from a hydraulic cylinder 70 having a piston therein (not shown) fixed to the inner end of the piston rod 68. A source of fluid pressure 72 is connected by conduits 74 to a control valve 76 arranged to be operated by an electrical valve operator 78 to direct pressure to either end of the cylinder 70 through conduits 80. Thus, the shafi 66 may be caused to move from the extreme right hand position shown in FIG. 3 toward the left. Such movement will draw the collars 62 and hence the shafts 56 and gears 60 closer together, caus ing the gears 60 to move from meshing engagement with rack 44 into meshing engagement with rack 42 and then into meshing engagement with rack 40, all for a purpose to be described. Referring also to FIG. 5, a guide and selector roller device 82 is freely journalled on each shaft 56 and is provided with a groove 84 therein loosely engaging in the guide groove 38 in the housing for tracltway 14. Thus, the roller devices 82 serve as guides for the elevator car to guide it along the trackways 14 while maintaining the gears 60 in mesh with the selected racks. The bearings 58 are provided with recesses housing torsion springs 86, one end of which is anchored to the bearing and the other end of which is anchored in the adjacent guide roller 82. Thus, the springs 86 hold the guide rol lers normally in a predetermined orientation. The portion of the guide roller 82 on the outside of the trackway 14 has diametrically opposed extending arm portions 88 (see FIGS. 4 and 7), each of which terminates at its outer end in an inwardly directed lug or ear 90. The spring 86 normally holds the roller 82 in such position that the arms 88 extend generally vertically, as shown in FIG. 4.
The inner face of each guide roller 82 is provided with a recess housing a compression spring 92 having one end seated in the recess and the other end bearing against a selector or control arm member 94. A pair of guide pins 96 guide the member 94 for sliding movement along shaft 56 but prevent rotation relative to the shaft, and the spring 92 normally holds the member 94 in its innermost position, as shown in FIG. 5, against heads or abutments 97. The member 94 extends laterally in one direction from the shaft 66, at right angles to the arms 88, and terminates at its outer end in an outwardly directed ear or lug 98.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, which are enlarged views of a portion of the system showing a fragment of a central guideway 14 and one of the lateral guide means 16. The outermost rack 44 extends vertically and continuously the full length of each central guide member 14. The middle rack 42 extends vertically alongside rack 44 between story levels but is curved inwardly to extend along the top of each of the lateral guides 16, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The innermost rack 40 also extends alongside the racks 42 and 44 between story levels but is curved outwardly to extend along the bottom portion of the lateral guide 16, as also shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. As shown in FIG. 6, the guide slot 38 is widened at the juncture of the guides 14 and 16 so as to form a T-junction. The outer face of the housing for the guideways l4 and I6 at the T-junction described is provided with a guide or cam rib 100 extending toward the elevator car. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the rib 100 extends only along the curved portion of the adjacent rack. In like manner, the inner face of the housing is provided with a curved guide rib or cam 102 extending along only the curved portion of the guide slot 38.
The electrical control 78 for the valve 76 may respond to any desired signal produced either in the associated elevator car or by an instrumentality at any of the story levels. Assume that a car is moving upwardly in shaft 8. For normal operation the valve 76 will be in such position that the gears 60 are in mesh with the outermost racks 44 so that the car will continue to move upwardly. Under these conditions, the roller 82 is oriented as shown in FIG. 4 where the lugs 90 will miss each of the curved ribs 100 and spring 92 holds member 94 in the inner position shown in FIG. so that the lug 98 misses or passes the curved ribs 102 as the car moves upwardly past each story level. When it is desired to cause the car to stop at a selected story level, the valve 76 is actuated, just prior to reaching story level to pull the gears 60 inwardly to the limit of their travel and into mesh with the rack 40. When this happens the hub [04 of each gear 60 engages the control member 94 and forces it outwardly against the action of spring 92 so that its lug 98 is then in position to engage the inwardly directed curved rib 102. By this action the lug 98 forces the gear 60 to follow the curved rack 40 (see FIG. 6 at A) to cause the elevator car to then move horizontally along the rack 40 in guide 16 to stop position where the car can be automatically stopped for loading or discharge of passengers or freight. As soon as the car has passed the curved portion of rack 40, the lug 98 moves free of the inner end of the curved rib 102 and spring 86 then turns the roller 82 to a position of orientation, as shown in FIG. 6 at B. When it is desired to move the car from the described stop position into the shaft 8 for movement upwardly therein, the valve 76 is actuated to move the gears 60 outwardly from the position just described and into mesh with intermediate rack 42 which extends along the top of the guide means 16. Rotation of the motor 46 then causes the gear 60 to develop traction against the rack 42 and move the elevator car 24 outwardly toward the shaft 8. As the mechanism 26 approaches the guideway junction, the uppermost lug on the arm 88 of guide roller 82 will engage the outwardly extending rib (see FIG. 6 at C) to enforce the gear 60 to follow the curved rack 42 into the vertical portion of the guideway 14 and the elevator car then progresses upwardly in the shaft 8 to its next stop position.
When a car reaches the top of the shaft 8, it follows the curved guideway 14 into the joining portion 20 of the central guide and the elevator car passes through an opening 106 (see FIG. 1) in the partition 12 and continues on to the central vertical guide in the shaft 10 for downward movement therein. It will be obvious that all of the mechanisms described function in the same manner in the shaft It) to cause an elevator car to leave the central guideway and enter any selected one of the horizontal guides 16 for stopping at any desired story level.
While not shown or described, it will be obvious to those skilled in this art how control of the valve 76 may be accomplished to enable any person on a car or at any story level to cause either an up-going car or a down going car to stop at a selected level. It is also contemplated that suitable sensing means (not shown) he provided to cause a car to be held at the level where it has stopped or to be stopped elsewhere in the event another car is moving in the adjacent shaft or is sufficiently close or so positioned to present the danger of collisron.
Referring now to FIGS. 8, 9, l0 and 11, the embodiment shown therein employs exactly the same elevator cars as described with reference to the previous embodiment, the principal difference being in the arrangement of the shafts and guide means. In FIGS. 8 to II, all parts identical to those described with reference to FIGS. l-7 bear the same reference numerals.
[n the FIG. 8 arrangement the upshatt 8 and the downshaft 10 are quite widely separated with sections of floor slabs 4 therebetween. In this arrangement the up cars and the down cars stop at opposite sides of corridors 106 between the elevator shafis. Another principal difference in this embodiment is in the arrangement of the car guides at the lowermost or main story level 107. Usually, in a multi-story building the greatest congestion occurs at the main floor by passengers waiting to board elevator cars. As shown in FIG. 8, the down shaft 10 is widened at the level of the main story and the guide 14 divide: into two branches 108 and 110. The rack arrangements are the same as those leading from the central guide N to the lateral guides 16 whereby a down car may be selectively directed toward a stop position at the main floor central corridor 112 or to a stop position outwardly therefrom. Thus, two cars can stop and unload at the main floor level at the same time. The branches I08 and are both directed into a lowermost guide 114 for transferring the cars to the up shaft.
The up shaft 8 likewise is widened at the main story level and in which region the central guide comprises to branches 116 and 118 converging toward and meeting the central guide 14 centrally of the portion of shaft 8 above the main story level 107. The lower transfer guide 114 has communication with the branches 116 and 118 whereby a car may selectively be caused to rise along the branch 118 or proceed to and rise along the branch 116. In general, the means for selectively directing cars into the branches 108, 110, 116 or 118 are essentially the same as the means described for guiding elevator cars to and from the lateral guides 16 (already described. The arrangement at the juncture of branch 118 and transfer guide 114, however, is of slightly different construction. Please refer to FIGS. 9 to 11. Assume an elevator car 24 is proceeding toward the left along transfer guide 114. The guide wheel 82 is normally held by spring 86 so oriented that its arms 88 and lugs 90 assume a generally vertical position relative to the vertical axis of the elevator car, as already described. However, a cam shoe 120 is fixed to the outer side of the upper edge of transfer guide 114 at the lower end of branch 118 in position to engage one of the arms 88 of guide roller 82 and tilt the same in a clockwise direction, as shown in FIG. 10 in phantom line at D. Such tilting of the arms 90 also swings the am 94 upwardly to the position shown at D. If it is desired that the car rise in branch 118, the controls are actuated to shift the gear 60 into mesh with rack bar 40, which curves upwardly into branch 118 and as the car reaches the curved portion of the rack 40, lug 98 engages the interior curved cam rib 102 to force the car to move upwardly in branch 118 in the manner already described. If it is desired that the car 24 moving to the left on transfer guide 114 continue on past branch 118 to branch 116, the gear 60 is left in mesh with the continuous rack bar 44 and the spring 92, already described, holds the control arm 94 and its lug 96 inwardly sufficiently for so that tilting of the arms 90 as shown at the right side of FIG. 10 will have no effect. The lug 96 will merely pass inwardly of the curved rib 102 and the car will continue along the rack portion 44. FIG. 9 merely illustrates how a car descending in branch 108 will be guided by curved rib 102' onto the transfer guide 1 14 along rack bar 42 in a manner already described.
While a limited number of specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, the same are merely illustrative of the principles involved.
1. An elevator system for a multi-story structure comprismg:
an elevator shaft defining a generally vertical pathway extending past each story of said structure; first guide means for guiding elevator cars for vertical movement in said shaft along said pathway;
second guide means at each story level for guiding an elevator car from said first guide means laterally of said shaft, out of or into said pathway, and for supporting the same in a stop position to receive or discharge passengers or articles at said story level while leaving said pathway un-obstructed;
a plurality of elevator cars in said shaft;
selectively operably control means on each car for selectively causing said car, moving in said pathway, to engage one of said second guide means at a selected story level and thereby move out of said pathway to a stop position whereby others of said elevator cars can move along said pathway past said selected story level; and
drive means for moving each of said elevator cars along said first guide means in one direction independently of movement of the other cars and along said second guide means in either direction, to or from said first guide means.
2. An elevator system as defined in claim 1 including a second elevator shaft adjacent said firstmamed elevator shaft and having said first and second guide means therein; further guide means joining said first guide means at adjacent ends of said shafts for guiding said elevator cars from one end of one shaft to the adjacent end of the other shaft whereby said eleva tor cars may all move upwardly in one shaft and downwardly in the other in a closed orbital path.
3. An elevator system as defined in claim 1 wherein said drive means comprises a motor means on each elevator car drrvtngly connected to a drive member; said first and second guide means including traction means engageable by said drive member; and means for selectively engaging said drive member with the traction means of either said first or second guide means.
4. An elevator system as defined in claim 2 wherein said first and second guide means are arranged, at a main story level, of said structure, whereby an elevator car may be directed to either of at least two stop positions at said main story level and whereby at least two of said elevator cars may be simultaneously stopped at said two stop positions.
5. An elevator system as defined in claim 4 wherein one of said further guide means is below said main story level and arranged to guide elevator cars from either of said two stop positions selectively into either of two stop positions at said main story level of the other shaft.