Curved escalator could half energy use

A potentially revolutionary curved escalator could cut energy use in half, according to new academic research.

A model of the Levytator

A model of the Levytator

The new design called the Levytator, which claims to be the world's first escalator capable of going around corners, has been developed by City University London emeritus professor of mechanical engineering Jack Levy.

Interestingly, unlike traditional up and down escalators, where redundant steps go underneath those being used the Levytator has a continuous loop of curved modules, which can follow any path upwards, flatten and straighten out and descend all with passengers on board.

A video explaining the design can be viewed here

According to professor Levy the design means a single Levytator with one power source can be used in place of two escalators with separate motors, with the weight of passengers travelling down offsetting the weight of those travelling up, which creates 'substantial' energy savings.

Professor Levy's paper predicts that a fully-loaded Levytator (with the maximum number of passengers travelling both up and down) would use around 80% of the power of two traditional escalators making the same trips.

And, a half-loaded Levytator with the down path full and the up path empty would use half the energy of the two equivalent escalators.

He said: "The Levytator was primarily developed to give architects the ability to create escalators in any shape they want, but we've now shown that the design could significantly cut power consumption too.

"As utility bills rise and more organisations strive for green accreditation for their premises, we hope the Levytator can play an important role in cutting both energy use and the associated costs."

The professor added that City University London is currently in talks with investors, escalator manufacturers, architects and property developers worldwide, to build and install the first full-size Levytator.

Other interested parties can contact the project's business development manager, David Chan, at or on 020 7040 8438.

Luke Walsh


energy manager


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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