Low energy doors are often thought of as “handicap accessible automatic doorways”. These doorways usually have signage showing the universal symbols that are understood as wheelchair accessible openings. In most installations, low energy door systems are either swinging or sliding doors. They are predominantly activated by a “knowing act” on the part of the doorway user. A button or push plate is used to activate the door operating mechanism. A person wishing to enter the doorway must push the button to start the door opening function. The low energy requirement of these doorways pertains to the forces exerted by the moving door through all aspects of the opening and closing cycle.
Some of the low energy door systems are strictly power assisted door openers. In their most basic form, these doors use motor controls to push or pull open a door. After reaching the fully opened position a basic timer will keep the door open for a specific set time door refinishing . This allows a person in a wheel chair access without having to push or pull open the door in front of their path of travel. When the timer has counted down, the door will close, and cannot be reactivated to reopen without another push of the button.
The more complex or sophisticated the low energy door control, the more potential features will be available. Some possible options include a power assisted feature that will sense the force exerted by a user and activate the door motor control to take over the opening effort. A feature called “Push and Go” is often available which performs this type of function. There are also obstruction reactive elements that will stop, reverse or recycle the opener that may be included in the motor control command options.
According to specific industry wide safety standards, no optical sensor or proximity sensor of any kind is required on any low energy door system that is operated by a push of a button known as a “Knowing Act”. For this reason, these types of doorways are practical for low volume traffic. They are safe when used appropriately and regularly tested for proper force and speed when moving. These doors can be problematic when installed in place of a more costly high energy, fully automated doorway.