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787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire  
User currently offlineWarreng24 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 708 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15268 times:

Securaplane is one of the suppliers for the interior of the 787. They're supplying the "wireless emergency lighting system."

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2005/q2/nr_050421g.html

Their main building in Oro Valley (Tucson, Az) caught fire on Wednesday.
The cause of the fire was apparantly from battery packs.

http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=5645895&nav=menu216_3

The article doesn't say that the fire was actually casued during load testing of the Li-Ion battery packs which are to be used on the 787 to power the emergency lights. These same packs (manufactured by Securaplane) are also currently being evaluated for use on other systems within the aircraft. (Source: another 787 supplier that is currently evaluating Securaplane's Li-Ion packs for use elsewhere in the aircraft)

[Edited 2006-11-11 03:10:54]

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15203 times:

Ugh...too bad the supplier didn't have sprinklers in the area. That might have reduced the damage, but at the same time, water on Lithium batteries on fire isn't necessarily a good thing. I would hope that Boeing (and Airbus) chooses suppliers that have proper life safety equipment in their manufactering process to prevent accidents like this.


Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15155 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 2):
That might have reduced the damage, but at the same time, water on Lithium batteries on fire isn't necessarily a good thing.

Exactly. It wouldn't have stopped the fire in the batteries, but it would have stopped it spreading to the walls and tables and having the roof fall in.

And while the investigation will be interesting, a battery in a lab is not the same thing as a battery in the field. We don't know what conditions the battery was subjected to, what state it was in (assembly? corroded? heavy test bed?).

I assume they are using Li-Ion to save weight?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineYellowstone From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15141 times:

Well, at least the workers knew how to find their nearest emergency exit and evacuate the aircraft...um, factory.

These lithium ion batteries aren't having a good year, are they? First the laptop batteries, now this. Hopefully this won't cause any delays for Boeing!



Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8329 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15032 times:

Maybe it's time to change the battery type - as well as adding sprinklers when they rebuild the factory. Lithium-polymer batteries are now used in Apple's Pro notebooks - don't know if they are less prone to starting a fire, but worth a look.

Now the big question is the risk of delays on delivering the batteries Boeing needs and the potential need for a back-up supplier.


User currently offlineWarreng24 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 708 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15011 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
And while the investigation will be interesting, a battery in a lab is not the same thing as a battery in the field. We don't know what conditions the battery was subjected to, what state it was in (assembly? corroded? heavy test bed?).

I assume they are using Li-Ion to save weight?

Yes, Li-Ion is being used as a weight savings. Currently most aircraft are using sealed Lead-Acid style batteries (same technology as under the hood of your car).

More news, the batteries caught fire while on a test rig. They were apparantly testing the charging controller to see what would happen in a fault case of the charging controller overcharging the battery.

When a battery gets overcharged it heats up. The overcharge cut off is set for 65 degrees C. Apparantly, the cut off didn't work and the temperature hit 70 degrees C which is when the pack caught fire.


User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14995 times:

Did they have good backups of their designs outside of the building.

Otherwise there may be a scramble for a different supplier if this one is out of business for even a few months.


User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14952 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Lithium-polymer batteries are now used in Apple's Pro notebooks - don't know if they are less prone to starting a fire, but worth a look.

I'm not too sure on Lithium-Polymer (Li-Poly) batteries. I periodically get a model airplane magazine that includes electric models with Li-Poly as the power source, yet it reads something along the lines of "overcharging, overdischarging, and reversing the polarization of a Li-Poly battery could lead to an explosive fireball."  worried 


User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14927 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Lithium-polymer batteries are now used in Apple's Pro notebooks - don't know if they are less prone to starting a fire, but worth a look.

Li-Poly batteries are more prone to catching fire than Li-Ion.

Unfortunate setback for Securaplane. Hopefully they will be able to recover and deliver the emergency lighting systems on time.

DL757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14779 times:

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 6):
When a battery gets overcharged it heats up. The overcharge cut off is set for 65 degrees C. Apparantly, the cut off didn't work and the temperature hit 70 degrees C which is when the pack caught fire.

Sounds like they need to install a redundant overcharge circuit. An expensive lesson to learn...

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 6):
Yes, Li-Ion is being used as a weight savings. Currently most aircraft are using sealed Lead-Acid style batteries (same technology as under the hood of your car).

Figured as much, though it's probably more like a yacht battery, no?

Anyway, wouldn't NiMH batteries be safer than Li-Ion while still being much lighter than Lead-Acid? I know the Li-Ion has a greater energy density, but at what cost?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 14560 times:

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 6):
Currently most aircraft are using sealed Lead-Acid style batteries (same technology as under the hood of your car).

Wrong. Commercial aircraft main batteries are 24V 20 cell Ni-Cad batteries - nothing even remotely like what's under the hood of your car.

DL757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14546 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
Anyway, wouldn't NiMH batteries be safer than Li-Ion while still being much lighter than Lead-Acid? I know the Li-Ion has a greater energy density, but at what cost?

NiMH looses it charge relatively quickly without use. If this is a wireless system then I don't think there would be a means to recharge them on the aircraft. Li-Ion's charge retention capabilities would make it the clear choice in this application.

DL757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineRemcor From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14515 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
Anyway, wouldn't NiMH batteries be safer than Li-Ion while still being much lighter than Lead-Acid? I know the Li-Ion has a greater energy density, but at what cost?

My company is working on introducing a Nickel-Zinc battery that is intended to replace Ni-Cad, NiMH and lead acid in some applications. One of the selling points is its safer chemistry and better weight and volume efficiency. Might want to bring this one up to the sales dept.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14484 times:

If these are truly unwired battery backups, why do you need rechargeable batteries at all? Just use one use batteries that are replaced and recycled on a maintenance schedule. Or are they replaced and recharged on a schedule?

Quoting Remcor (Reply 16):
One of the selling points is its safer chemistry and better weight and volume efficiency. Might want to bring this one up to the sales dept.

Jennifer!! Tell Herb Tarlek to call up Boeing ASAP!!!

Quoting Dl757md (Reply 14):
Commercial aircraft main batteries are 24V 20 cell Ni-Cad batteries - nothing even remotely like what's under the hood of your car.

But aren't we talking about a self-contained battery back-up for the emergency lighting? If so, are they also Ni-Cad? Aren't Ni-Cad notorious for being difficult to monitor charge levels and their quick loss of charging capacity?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRemcor From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 14315 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 17):
Quoting Remcor (Reply 16):
One of the selling points is its safer chemistry and better weight and volume efficiency. Might want to bring this one up to the sales dept.

Jennifer!! Tell Herb Tarlek to call up Boeing ASAP!!!

I meant my sales department in my company, not Boeing's. I'm not an idiot.

Quoting Remcor (Reply 18):
But aren't we talking about a self-contained battery back-up for the emergency lighting? If so, are they also Ni-Cad? Aren't Ni-Cad notorious for being difficult to monitor charge levels and their quick loss of charging capacity?

They've greatly alleviated the hysteresis problems of Ni-Cads over the years, and actually their charge/discharge electronics are very simple. Constant current/voltage will work for a Ni-Cad pack, unlike say a Li-ion where you have to monitor every cell in the pack.

[Edited 2006-11-11 09:23:21]

User currently offline53Sqdn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12946 times:

How will this affect the 787 program? Will they have to re-evaluate their wiring? Will it affect the composite 'bits' on the aircraft? Will Boeing pay for the worry of future customers? Will orders be cancelled? Will it affect the 'wake' program? Will the 'boss' resign? Will the toilets still flush? Will it affect the toilet paper in the aforementioned 'bogs'? Will 'A' God point his finger at Boeing and say;" You P155 me off"? Will the 787 ever be built/fly because of this disastrous news? Jeez, I'm peeing me pants because of the worry relating to this latest news.

On a side note, Joe I M Offmerocker, has been arrested and charged with battery. His wife's name is Lithium. They were deported from Siberia (huh) because they were being a nuisance  thumbsup   stirthepot   puckerup   laughing 


User currently offlineBringiton From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12880 times:

Quoting 53Sqdn (Reply 19):
On a side note, Joe I M Offmerocker, has been arrested and charged with battery. His wife's name is Lithium. They were deported from Siberia (huh) because they were being a nuisance

Some funny $hit !!


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12855 times:

Water is pretty useless in this case, but what about nitro-gas to suffocate the fire?

User currently offlineWarreng24 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 708 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12782 times:

Quoting Dl757md (Reply 14):
Wrong. Commercial aircraft main batteries are 24V 20 cell Ni-Cad batteries - nothing even remotely like what's under the hood of your car.

IIRC the batteries in the EE bay are sealed lead-acid batteries similar to the Optima marine style ones. It's been awhile since I've been down inside an EE bay. Dl757md, are you a MX guy? If so, I stand corrected.


User currently offlineKanebear From United States of America, joined May 2002, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12231 times:

No electronics/battery/checmical facility would ever use water as a fire suppressant. Dry checmical extinguishers aren't cheap, but itwould've been cheaper than this, no?

User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1662 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11997 times:

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 4):
Well, at least the workers knew how to find their nearest emergency exit and evacuate the aircraft

Haha....thats funny



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineMorvious From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 707 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10564 times:

Well, ive been into a lot of server rooms where they are using gass to kill a fire. Its not dangerouse for the systems, but every living creature inside will be killed within a minute. Not a smart way to put a fire out when you have multyple people constantly working there, unlike server rooms.


have a good day, Stefan van Hierden
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10608 times:

Quoting Remcor (Reply 18):
I meant my sales department in my company, not Boeing's. I'm not an idiot.

Man, not only did you miss the joke entirely and misinterpret what I wrote, but you took it as an attack against your intelligence, when it clearly was not even directed at you. It was just a pop culture reference, albeit one from my youth.

You must be real fun at parties.  Wink

(and yes, that IS a jab at your sense of humor...)



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10370 times:

Morv, but if a fire starts do you hang around there or get out ASAP?
To demand oxygenmasks to be installed all over the plant would be a small price compared with this?


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10261 times:

Quoting Remcor (Reply 16):
Might want to bring this one up to the sales dept.

If this puts Boeing up against the wall on the B-787 program, you can write your own check.

Quoting Morvious (Reply 25):
Well, ive been into a lot of server rooms where they are using gass to kill a fire. Its not dangerouse for the systems, but every living creature inside will be killed within a minute. Not a smart way to put a fire out when you have multyple people constantly working there, unlike server rooms.

Save the computers, at all costs.  Yeah sure


25 N231YE : NiMH are safer, but are heavier and as you stated, have a lower energy density. I don't know about how the modern NiCd, but the pro of NiCd is that i
26 Dl757md : Yes I'm an AMT with a certain U.S. legacy airline. And just in case to make sure I wasn't off my rocker I verified the info in reply 14 with the 757
27 Dl757md : Does anyone have more specific info on what exactly Boeing means by a wireless emergency lighting system? To me wireless means that every light has it
28 Morvious : Well, I don't know the situation of the company in question. But if it is a large storage hall with hundreds of people constantly working there, ther
29 Thrust : Sounds like Airbus is getting desperate LOL
30 Post contains links MarkHKG : If a building chooses to install this type of gaseous life-safety/fire supression system, there must be a safeguard to warn occupants of imminent age
31 N328KF : You can't use halon in Montreal Protocol signatories. I would bet that your country is one.
32 Kanebear : Not entirely true. You CAN use Halon, it just isn't being manufactured anymore. Halon systems are still in wide use and recycled Halon is still sold.
33 N231YE : I'm not sure if I am thinking of what you are, but the emergency aisle lighting that was once used, miniature bulbs and wiring (like Christmas tree l
34 Dl757md : It also has no batteries. So this is not the system that Boeing is going with in the 787. DL757Md
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