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Another 787 Battery Fire?

07/12/2013 3:11 PM

Possible 787 fire shut down Heathrow.

And another one returned to Manchester with technical issue.

Looks like Boeing stock is tanking. Ya think they are going to give up on this battery technology now? Cessna and Gulfstream did on their biz jets. No details as to actual cause.

ap wire link to 787 problemsHope

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#1

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/12/2013 4:18 PM

They never should have moved their HQ to Chicago.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/12/2013 5:11 PM

Someone will probably beat me up for saying this, but I think the problem with every engineering design/manufacturing company is; the CEOs are not degree'd engineers, and have never worked as an engineer in the company they are managing. They are smart, but 2 drink minimum MBA is not enough. Steve Jobs was directly involved in Apple, and he showed how to correctly drive a company, and it's products. William (Bill) Boeing, Donald Douglas, Henry Ford, to name a few, of past great companies, that had owner engineers at the helm. I know CEOs are "rain makers" but how do you fix a design culture problem, if you can't design.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/12/2013 5:36 PM

Henry Ford was not an engineer per say. Smart man yes, but not schooled in engineering.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/12/2013 5:55 PM

And I just watched a PBS program where they beat him up in court as being an ignorant man. He did not have an engineering degree.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/12/2013 11:43 PM

Henry could look further than your engineer. He sent staff around the scrappies to find out what was worn out and broken on discarded vehicles. When he found that king pins were never broken or wornout, he directed that they should be made of weaker (cheaper) material, so they would wear out as the vehicle approached its life's end.

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/13/2013 10:29 AM

Until recently our engineering society accepted "work experience" as a full criteria to qualify as a professional engineer. I think Henry Ford would have gotten his iron ring. My grandfather did - with a grade 8 education.

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#6

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/13/2013 1:29 AM

Sadly this is another case of sensation reporting that just cost the aviation industry billions of dollars! A report on a technical issue should be backed by at least a smattering of technical knowledge and founded on facts.

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#7

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/13/2013 9:15 AM

Sounds like a good time to buy Boeing stock.

The planes are fine; the new battery technology isn't quite ready for prime time. They'll fix it.

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#8

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/13/2013 10:18 AM
Re: Another 787 battery fire?
I may be sorry for placing my opinion here, but I have a bit of experience with LiFePO4 Batteries. There are quite a few people playing with this technology, and the (BMS) The Battery Management System is the likely culprit.

Boeing installed insulation of some sort to prevent heating of the cells and then sealed them into an explosion proof box. Exactly the opposite of what will work. So it seems the infamous someone wants this form of battery to fail. Leaving some air space between the batteries and installing some ventilation to remove heat is the proper way to dispose of unwanted heat. Simple common sense tells us that.

LiFePO4 batteries have a BMS to protect them from dischaging them to below their minimum discharge voltage. Since they are made in multiple cells of 3.2 volts each combined by parallel connections to make the desired voltage, each unit must be monitored during the charge cycle.

So it is the charge cycle where the failure occurs. Now do not confuse LiFePO4 batteries with any other kinds of lithium batteries, they are not the same at all. For one reason or other they have been discarded for our purposes.

That is Home Made Power Wheelchairs, or Wheelchair conversions. You wouldn't want to be helplessly sitting on top of burning or short circuited batteries, or perhaps sleeping beside them while they fail.

With the right charger that does the monitoring as it charges it is far safer than lead bricks charging as you sleep beside them.

So you see the very same things that concern us, are the very same things that concern Boeing.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Another 787 battery fire?

07/13/2013 11:24 AM

It sounds like common sense, but it also sounds like far too simple of an answer.

I don't know anything about these batteries, but could the reason for the insulation have anything to do with them not getting too cold?

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#11

They have ruled out battery as cause

07/13/2013 1:30 PM

BBC news link

It will be interesting to see how they repair this damage.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: They have ruled out battery as cause

07/13/2013 11:00 PM

Exactly! that photo irks me. what could possibly be in the aft section of the fuselage there that would catch fire through ALUMINUM like that???

The picture is worth a thousand speculations. I mean the aluminum has bloody melted right off! what equipment is located THERE?

CORRECTION: it's not aluminum, but carbon composite. mea culpa.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/business/boeing-787-catches-fire-at-heathrow.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: They have ruled out battery as cause

07/13/2013 11:48 PM

Isn't the generator in the tail? It is for many modern civil aircraft.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: They have ruled out battery as cause

07/14/2013 8:29 AM

yes it seems you are correct based on link from my below comment,...also THE ELECTRIC GALLEY/KITCHEN!

A huge power load there too!

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#13

Re: Another 787 Battery Fire?

07/13/2013 11:44 PM

take a gander at this picture:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/elon-musk-boeing-787-battery-fundamentally-unsafe-381627/

it seems to be pointing by chance to the EXACT location of the Ethiopian Air fire!!!

(though I can't fathom a "cargo door" being there......) very curious.

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#15

Re: Another 787 Battery Fire?

07/14/2013 12:29 AM

While I am not in the caliber to be in the same room with those men, mentioned in that article. But that generally is part of what I was trying to get across. I also wrote a response to post #9 that has become a part of cyber space.

It is sufficient to say all LiFe batteries are not equal. LiFePO4 are safer and just a tad less compact in the power density range. The batteries they use are bricks of heat producing chemicals packed tightly together that will create heat, when charged, or discharged, at a high C rate, and without a chance to release that heat, they will autocombust. They require a way to get rid of that excess heat. Insulation and confined space that cannot breathe, is hardly that way. Ventilation and planned space to allow for air passage around the cells, will help a lot.

Better control of charging and maintaining equal voltage among all the cells while charging is another whole issue. This must be addressed.

We use these cells in clusters or packs that make up 12-24 or 48 volt units of anywhere from 60 to 100+ Amp hours, depending on space available.

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