PUTEAUX, France, April 3, 2015 — Otis will install its first solar-powered Gen2® Switch elevator in France as part of Atlantique Habitations’ new positive energy social-housing project Les Bourderies in Rezé, near Nantes. Otis, which operates in France as Otis France, is the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways, and is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
Connected to four solar panels installed on the roof of the Les Bourderies, the Gen2 Switch elevator is expected to receive 80 percent of its needed energy from the installation and as much as 100 percent between March and October, the sunniest months of the year. The Gen2 Switch can also be coupled with other alternative energy sources, such as wind turbines.
In addition, the elevator is designed to continue operating during power outages utilizing battery technology. The power supply charges a pack of batteries, which in turn supplies power to the elevator motor. In the event of a power failure, the battery pack continues to operate the elevator for up to 100 trips in an eight-story building, eliminating the inconveniences of a power outage. A regenerative drive system also recovers the energy created by the elevator and restores it to the batteries.
As a recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found, elevators and escalators make up 2 to 5 percent of the energy used in most buildings, but can reach as high as 50 percent during peak operational times. The Gen2 Switch’s battery technology allows the unit to operate at 0.5kW; less than a toaster and less than a light bulb when in standby. It also features environmentally sustainable design as the battery itself is made of 97 percent recycled materials.
“We are proud to contribute to this environmentally responsible social housing project and deploy our first solar-powered elevator in France, which was manufactured locally at our plant in Gien,” said Pierre Yves-Tinel, director, new construction, Otis, Western France. “The project embodies our vision for intelligent buildings: a living space that makes use of the best technology for the comfort of its residents, taking the principle of energy-efficiency into account from the building’s early design stage.”
“This ingenuity from Otis harvests the power of the sun to sustainably operate one of the most critical systems in a building,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “The breakthrough Gen2 Switch is a natural solution for intelligent, green buildings to significantly lower operating costs and environmental emissions together.”
Otis is the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Founded more than 160 years ago by the inventor of the safety elevator, Otis offers products and services through its companies in more than 200 countries and territories, and maintains more than 1.8 million elevators and escalators worldwide. Otis is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit www.otis.com or follow @OtisElevatorCo on Twitter.