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Bad battery design responsible for Boeing Dreamliner grounding, expert says
Fox News ^ | 1/18/13 | Jeremy A. Kaplan

Posted on 01/18/2013 12:56:33 PM PST by Ron C.

A charred lithium ion battery at the center of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner showed evidence of “thermal runaway” -- which is indicative of a design problem, experts tell FoxNews.com.

The All Nippon Airways plane made an emergency landing Wednesday morning in western Japan after its pilots smelled something burning and received a cockpit warning of battery problems. Nearly all 50 of the 787s in use around the world have since been grounded.

The battery’s burned insides indicate it operated at a voltage above its design limit, a Japanese investigator said Friday. That’s a clear sign of an out-of-control chemical reaction, explained Reginald Tomkins, a professor of chemical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; boeing
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To: Ron C.

“....which is indicative of a design problem”

They were designed to last for the life of the aircraft, so technically, there is no design problem.


21 posted on 01/18/2013 1:39:08 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Yuasa. Well known in powersports applications and one of the most respected. Have to remember, they “built to specification”. These young engineers at Boeing now are far too biased toward the bleeding edge and now some of them won’t fly in their own airplanes.


22 posted on 01/18/2013 1:42:16 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: t1b8zs

Appreciate your response and the clarification. THose cables in that picture along with every other component are fried. There’s a lot of people in trouble right now..I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. But I’m even more thankful that no one was hurt.

It will be interesting to see the failure analysis.


23 posted on 01/18/2013 1:43:38 PM PST by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: RFEngineer
“....which is indicative of a design problem”

They were designed to last for the life of the aircraft, so technically, there is no design problem.

Much like the lifetime guarantee on pacemakers.

24 posted on 01/18/2013 1:43:46 PM PST by Bob
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To: Ron C.

It’s my understanding that although the manufacturer certifies the aircraft safe, the individual nations operating it certify it separately for use in that country’s airspace. Such a system has been used to keep a competing country’s product out.


25 posted on 01/18/2013 1:44:26 PM PST by pabianice (washington, dc ..)
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To: pabianice
You are correct. In Gen-Av they used to be able to convince the FSDO of a change and if looked good engineering wise, they might let you do it with a "337" without going the one time STC route. Not so much now, unless it is for safety like shoulder harnesses. The only other exemption would be on antiques if you can't find a part you can substitute but that is it. What many here may not realize here if Boeing puts anything else in the battery box, the aircraft is essentially "experimental" all over again.

I am curious is this the Lithium-Ion Phosphate which are more geared towards aviation use (just got on my radar screen recently).

26 posted on 01/18/2013 1:50:52 PM PST by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: pabianice

The L-188 Electra never recovered because the jet age had started. Many pilots say the Electra was the best plane that they had ever flown in their careers. The tv show Ice Pilots features them still flying for Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife, Canada.


27 posted on 01/18/2013 2:06:57 PM PST by willk
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To: Ron C.
The battery’s burned insides indicate it operated at a voltage above its design limit, a Japanese investigator said Friday. That’s a clear sign of an out-of-control chemical reaction, explained Reginald Tomkins, a professor of chemical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Hmmm...

It sounds like Boeing is covering their butts.

I've been using these batteries for almost 10 years and when the batteries are manufactured, the nominal voltage is 3.7 volts per cell. The maximum per cell voltage in a fully charged state for a properly charged battery is 4.2 volts.

The only time they go into a thermal runaway state is when they are charged to a state above 4.2V per cell or if they are discharged at a rate higher than their designed to deliver.

In both cases (over-charge and over-discharge) they will develop internal shorts which trigger the thermal runaway.

I've never heard of a Li-Ion battery going into a thermal runaway all by itself.

One of the unique features of Li-Ion batteries is the ability to wire them in series and parallel at the same time. This allows the batteries to be formed into packs that deliver a higher voltage and capacity. When wired in parallel, each cell must be balanced before or during the charging process to ensure that each cell's voltage never rises above 4.2 volts.

If one cell resting voltage is higher than those of the rest of the pack, and each cell's voltage is not monitored during charge or if all the cells in a pack are not balanced with each other before charging, then it's possible to over-charge a single cell above it's maximum rated voltage, which will trigger a thermal runaway.

Once a cell goes into thermal runaway it can trigger other cells.

28 posted on 01/18/2013 2:11:12 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: RFEngineer
They were designed to last for the life of the aircraft, so technically, there is no design problem.

If you're talking about Lithium batteries, they have a maximum life of about 2-4 years, whether they're used or not. Depending on how they're used, this could be shorter.

They definitely won't last the life of the airplane, which is 20-30 years.

29 posted on 01/18/2013 2:29:04 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: Ron C.

Why not just get a windmill from a wind farm bolted to the undercarriage. Voila! No toxic lithium and no overheating battery.


30 posted on 01/18/2013 2:36:19 PM PST by Cyman
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To: Ron C.

The batteries really don’t power anything unless ground power or on board generator power is not available. They are back-up/auxiliary power only.

“In the case of the 787, two 32-volt lithium-ion primary batteries provide power as key elements of the aircraft’s more-electric architecture. The main battery, located forward in the electric/electronic (E/E) equipment bay below the cabin floor by the front passenger doors, provides power for aircraft start-up, ground operations such as refueling and towing, and acts as backup power for the electrically actuated brake system. It can also assist the second battery, located in the aft E/E bay, in starting up the auxiliary power unit (APU) and, in the event of a power failure, energizes essential flight instruments in the flight deck until the drop-down ram air turbine spools up.

The battery that caught fire on the Japan Airlines 787 in Boston was the second main battery. This unit’s primary purpose is to electrically start the APU when neither of the engines is running and the aircraft is not connected to external ground power. In this case, the battery energizes the righthand of the two starter/generators connected to the APU. The aft battery also provides another minor role, namely to power navigation lights during battery-only towing operations.”

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p22-537845.xml


31 posted on 01/18/2013 2:38:55 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: RFEngineer; Ol' Dan Tucker
If you're talking about Lithium batteries...

I should clarify that I was talking about Lithium Ion cells which are rechargeable and not Lithium cells which are not.

Lithium cells, such as watch batteries have a very long shelf life, whereas Lithium Ion cells have a limited life span, depending on their operating environment.

32 posted on 01/18/2013 2:39:24 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: Ron C.

Now all they have to do is figure out why the windshield cracked ad the fuel leaked.


33 posted on 01/18/2013 2:41:26 PM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: VanShuyten

Airliners have electrically heated windshields. It’s not unusual for the outer pane to crack from the heating and cooling of the panel. Only the outer pane cracks. It’s alarming, but not too serious. The integrity of the windshield is not compromised when this happens.

Airliner windshield panes crack fairly regularly.


34 posted on 01/18/2013 2:45:11 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: Ron C.

didn’t they learn from klinton and flight 800?


35 posted on 01/18/2013 2:48:35 PM PST by longfellow (Bill Maher, the 21st hijacker.)
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To: Ron C.

Were offending batteries made on the same day. Reminds me of Detroit production line scenerio...What was the BAD day? Hummm


36 posted on 01/18/2013 4:29:24 PM PST by codder too
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: steve86

Thanks for correcting my spelling.
No doubt the battery company followed Boeing’s specs...

Many of the problems with this airplane can be traced to so many outside suppliers in various countries.


38 posted on 01/18/2013 4:31:56 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
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To: Ron C.

I heard the other day that lithium batteries are not allowed as cargo on aircraft after a crash that was thought to have been caused by a number of such batteries having caught fire.


39 posted on 01/18/2013 4:32:56 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Red State Secession Is The Only Answer)
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To: SueRae
I wonder if aircraft testing included a scenario that simulated a ‘fully-loaded’ stress test over a long period of time..in other words, having every appliance turned on in the kitchens, cockpit, not to mention all the music ports, movies and computer users, etc.

If they didn't, it would be almost criminal. I can't imagine why these flaws are just coming to light after the years and years this plane has been in development. It sure puts Boeing in a bad light.

Several years ago, there was a great deal of discussion on FR about the 787 vs. the hated A-380. Well, the latter did have some problems at start-up, but has become a noncontroversial part of the fleet. This business with the 787 is disheartening.

40 posted on 01/18/2013 4:41:43 PM PST by BfloGuy (Workers and consumers are, of course, identical.)
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