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Boeing 787 Dreamliner & Battery Issues

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by rabar10, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    Reuters - Most Boeing Dreamliners grounded for battery checks

    I wondered when the FUD tie-ins to EVs would happen...

    AP - Lithium batteries central to Boeing 787 woes
    This quote from Dr. Czysz is a cheap shot. Yes, Li-ions require special handling, and Boeing needs to figure out what's going on here, but I highly doubt these aircraft battery issues were caused by a battery coolant leak, and they certainly weren't the result of crash-testing. Separate issues.
     
  2. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Is battery coolant more flammable than 30 gallons of gasoline?
     
  3. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    There was an article here today in a technical magazine that blamed the battery chemistry: Article

    This is the relevant bit, where it's shown how prone to thermal runaway the different chemistries are. The batteries in question are LiCoO2 which weren't entirely stable.
    1200013182.jpg

    I'm sure there's also some design error in the battery packs, which allow them to go into thermal runaway in the first place. (Or maybe faulty cells?)
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There are all kinds of hazardous materials in an airplane, e.g. kerosene. Vapours from kerosene have caused airplanes to blow out of the sky.

    Preventing that is a matter of careful design and operation to eliminate the risks. The process for getting an aircraft certified as incredibly thorough. Due to that level of attention, mechanical causes of aircraft accidents are actually pretty rare. Boeing and the supplier of that component have both made a serious error in design, testing, and validation.

    I should also point that a car that catches on fire can be stopped and abandoned in a few seconds. Not so for an airplane.
     
  5. Mickfair

    Mickfair Member

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    Boeing & Battery Issue

    Is there a comparability between the lithium batteries being used in the Boeing Dreamliner and the Tesla Model S? Given the current news events regarding potential concerns with lithium batteries allegedly causing concerns in the Boeing Dreamliner fleet it would seem prudent for Tesla to clarify if there is or why there should not be any similar issue or concern.

    I would assume that this is a factual question and other posters may well know the answer to this question.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of energy and challenges | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
    - - - Updated - - -

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509981/grounded-boeing-787-dreamliners-use-batteries-prone-to-overheating/
    http://www.s399157097.onlinehome.us/SpecSheets/LVP10-65.pdf
     
  7. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    Shouldn't that NTSB Federal Investigator be wearing gloves? I would think they need to minimize the contamination at the site - at least that's what they do on crime drama TV shows.
     
  8. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    I, for one, am not the least bit concerned. I am not aware of any Model S, Roadster, LEAF, or Volt battery fires, except the Volt fire caused by NTSB's failure to observe proper procedures after a crash.
     
  9. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    We've been using these things on satellites (e.g. LiNi-AlCoO2 chemistry) for a decade without mishap, and they take some real abuse during the launch and can claim a lifetime to 80% of 18 years. So there is nothing fundamentally novel about aerospace use of Li-ion.
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Maybe Boeing engineers should have sought help from Tesla as they developed these batteries:)
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Tesla already engineered in protection for this. The Roadster uses the same LiCoO2 chemistry as the GS Yuasa pack in the 787 and Tesla has numerous safety features built into the pack, specifically to address the "thermal runaway" (AKA fire) risk:
    http://large.stanford.edu/publications/coal/references/docs/tesla.pdf

    For one, the Tesla pack can't "overheat" because it's thermally managed to be at optimal temperature. That doesn't look to be the case for the Boeing pack. But as dpeilow says in the other thread, the same chemistry has been used in satellites for a long time and it didn't have any issues, so I take it there is more to this story.

    The Model S uses a more advanced NCA chemistry and it should be even safer than LiCoO2. The pack also has all of the same safety features as the Roadster's. And given there have been no fire issues to date for Tesla (while there have been fires for other EV manufacturers, although none of them have been battery related) I don't think there's anything to worry about.
     
  12. vcor

    vcor Member

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    Remember Boeing has only 100 battery packs in service (2 per plane), Tesla has maybe 5000 now between the Roadster and Model-S over a far longer period. No idea what Boeing's problem is, but Tesla has done a great job in designing a safe, reliable battery pack. If you're interested, look over some of the Tesla patents and it's quite amazing all the things they have done to make it safe. They really are way ahead of anyone else.
     
  13. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Not whatsoever. Completely different chemistry. Common misconception when the media uses the term "Lithium Ion" all over the place. That actually does not describe the chemistry of the battery but instead a range of battery types. Let me explain.

    The term "lithium ion" actually refers to an extended family of batteries that all use lithium ions moving from negative to positive to release electrons that provide electricity. The Dreamliner uses lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2). A123's batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). There's many others but won't get into that here. You may have heard that model S and the Roadster both use the 18650 form factor for li-ion cells. This is not chemistry, but rather the size of the better (kinda like having different CPU's all fitting the same socket on a computer's motherboard). There are many types of these form factor cells on the market, and they can vary in the chemistry that's used. The Tesla ROADSTER does indeed use LiCoO2, same as the Dreamliner, that was the only EV in the world that used that chemistry. No other auto does. The Model S however, is using brand new Panasonic 18650 cells with a much better density. Tesla Motors won't disclose much detail about it as battery management is their core IP, so I don't think we know for sure what exactly they are using now in the S. What we do know is that they are using this new 18650 cell from Panasonic. Based on known info about the Model S's battery, such as the energy density increase of the new cells, the weight increase of the battery, and a mention that it uses a quarter less cobalt, the cells are probably NCA (LiNiCoAl02 cathode and graphite anode). Combine that with the fact that Panasonic just started production of those NCA cells in 2012, you can deduce that is what probably is used in the Model S. http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/tesla-and-panasonic-partner-on-roadster-model-s-battery-packs/

    With that said, again to answer your original question, there is absolutely no relation between the battery used in the Boeing and the Model S as the chemistry types are completely different. Any media report that says otherwise or compares the Dreamliner's battery to ANY electric vehicle at all (excluding the Roadster which is discontinued), proves that they just don't know what they are talking about.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Absolutely right. This is a either design or manufacturing problem - perhaps both. There's nothing intrinsically unsafe about lithium-ion technology. There are all kinds of systems on that airplane that have to work correctly or everyone dies. The fact is that airplanes are incredibly well engineered. Engineers are human and occasionally make mistakes, but the safety record of the industry is pretty impressive overall.
     
  15. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Did the Dreamliner batteries overheat due to being overcharged?
    If so, that would seem less likely in Teslas with sophisticated charging technology. especially if you're not charging in Range mode.
     
  16. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    Quite a bit of information about Tesla's battery management can be gleaned from its patents. Among other things, each cell is individually fused to protect them against shorting. Cells are also monitored for temperature and load. Some of these features are for safety and others are aimed at maximizing the cells' useful life. It sounds unlikely that Boeing went nearly as far with these external features.
     
  17. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly what I'm talking about in my above post. Another media report that said the Dreamliner's batteries are the same ones used in the Chevy Volt and Tesla. That is just utterly false (with the exception of the discontinued Roadster). The battery chemistry is completely different. http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=787329
     
  18. Orthophonist

    Orthophonist New Member

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    Boeing

    Reports that Boeing's Dreamliners are suffering with Lithium Ion batteries that are overheating and catching fire would seem to be a problem that Elon and his team at Tesla might provide a solution for. It would make good press for Tesla as well.
     
  19. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    Ferrari's catch on fire. Tesla's don't.


    [​IMG]
     

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