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Airbus Reverts To Nicad For 350 (AP Report)  
User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 88 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16534 times:

Quote:
The European planemaker said late Thursday that it has decided to revert to nickel-cadmium batteries for the A350.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013.../14/us/ap-us-airbus-batteries.html

64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16334 times:

Yet another lesson learned.


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinen797mx From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16312 times:

Saw this coming. Maybe the should ask Musk for help if they ever change their minds to go back? 


Clear skies and strong tail winds.
User currently offlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 16042 times:

Hhmnmm, so with this change of battery type, does this change any design that was frozen prior to this? Weight changes also??

User currently offlinePanAmPaul From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15974 times:

Quoting n797mx (Reply 2):
Saw this coming. Maybe the should ask Musk for help if they ever change their minds to go back?

Musk might be stuck on the side of the road...

Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway


User currently offlinedougbr2006 From Brazil, joined Oct 2006, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 15257 times:

I think this is a wise move by Airbus especially as there is still no clearly defined source of failure on the 787 batteries.
Doing in now means probably no delays on implementing it on production aircraft though they state that the first test flight aircraft will have the original lithium-ion install so as not to delay / preserve the flight-test and entry-into-service schedule though for sure they will probably get the Ni-Cad's onto the rest of the flight test aircraft ASAP for final certification reasons.

You can probably be sure that Airbus have been do a work around on the lithium-ion system architecture and how to revert back to Ni-Cad since the 787 incidents caused the grounding and can implement the changes relatively easily. I would guess the changes may involve the monitoring and charging circuits which may only be box changes with obviously the main change probably being a larger and heavier battery and associated structure, cooling and venting system. How much extra weight will probably not effect things too much. Theses guys know what to do with respect of weight changes.

What this does in way of effecting the FAA on the 787 is probably very little unless the FAA panics due to the public nature of the proposed withdrawal by Airbus in using the lithium-ion technology on the primary electrical systems of the A350. There is use of these batteries on the A380, but mainly on a secondary role and as yet with no issues. Airbus are probably checking those batteries and in service failure etc. If they see a problem you can be sure they will remove them from their flagship aircraft.

Looks like Airbus are gaining free assistance and less of a personal learning curve through the problems on the 787 both during production and now with the batteries.

Boeing has a great product which eventually is going to prove to be a reliable money maker for the airlines, but the financial punishment that Boeing has taken due to all the issues in its development will make them take more time and care in their next big program that's for sure.


User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 478 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 15227 times:

I'm slightly surprised at this step, I have to say.

In any case, according to a Reuters report, Airbus intends to perform the first few test flights with Li-Ion batteries (which are presumably already installed on MSN001) and then switch its test fleet to NiCd before EIS.
They state that they still have an intention to mature Li-Ion technology for airplane use in the future but are making the switch to avoid any risk to the A350 schedule due to uncertain certification requirements.

The NiCd batteries are expected to be supplied by SAFT, the same contractor that would have provided the Li-Ion batteries for the A350.

Makes me wonder - I am sure Airbus is in constant contact with aviation authorities; given that they are now reverting back to NiCd to effectively save time and be able to stick to their intended A350 EIS date - what conclusions does this allow regarding how long the 787 is still going to be grounded? Seems to me like there is still huge uncertainty about any permanent fix and how to implement it.



Flown on: A300B4, A310-200/-300, A319, A320-100/-200, A321-200, A330-200, A340-500/-600, A380-800, An-24, An-26, ATR42,
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3088 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 15144 times:

Quoting PanAmPaul (Reply 4):
Musk might be stuck on the side of the road...

Maybe you should read this....

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/most-peculiar-test-drive



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2494 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 15088 times:

Not surprised at all. I have not commented on the Boeing threads, but I do think their Li-Ion chemistry was poorly mistaken. They should have used a metallic chemistry like LIP or LNMC and not a more chemically unstable lithium cobalt oxide.

Airbus will most likely switch back to Lithium-Ion/Polymer technology in the future.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8034 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 14944 times:

Given that the A350XWB is NOT a "bleedless" engine airliner, this is more a symbolic gesture. I believe most electrical accessories on the A350XWB will be powered off bleed-air systems.

User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 478 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 14853 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 9):
Given that the A350XWB is NOT a "bleedless" engine airliner, this is more a symbolic gesture. I believe most electrical accessories on the A350XWB will be powered off bleed-air systems.

Not just that, but the whole airplane architecture relies less heavily on electrical systems; Boeing replaced large parts of what in, say, the 777 would be the hydraulic and pneumatic systems with electrical ones in the 787. Airbus didn't take electrification that far on the A350.
This will surely make the task of replacing NiCd for Li-Ion in the A350 much easier, as the loads and voltages involved are much lower than they are on the 787, i.e. it's less costly to come up with a NiCd alternative that can still support the electrical systems on board the A350.



Flown on: A300B4, A310-200/-300, A319, A320-100/-200, A321-200, A330-200, A340-500/-600, A380-800, An-24, An-26, ATR42,
User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 478 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 14723 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 7):
Maybe you should read this....

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/most...drive

Not aviation-related, but still very interesting reading; thanks for that!



Flown on: A300B4, A310-200/-300, A319, A320-100/-200, A321-200, A330-200, A340-500/-600, A380-800, An-24, An-26, ATR42,
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 14543 times:

I'm a little surprised they didn't wait a little longer. Certification changes might not just be for lithium, but for all battery types.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2494 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 14491 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 12):
Certification changes might not just be for lithium, but for all battery types.

It will be for Lithium-Ion/Polymer.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlinedougbr2006 From Brazil, joined Oct 2006, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 14383 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 12):

I'm a little surprised they didn't wait a little longer. Certification changes might not just be for lithium, but for all battery types.

Nicad batteries are flying in almost all new aircraft from Boeing's / Airbus to Citations / Gulfstreams to Helicopters / other GA twins an singles. It's a proven technology and in all my time working with Ni Cad batteries on Eurocopter helicopters we never experience a thermal runaway or other technical issue. A well maintained Ni Cad is reliable and safe.


User currently offlineKarelXWB From Netherlands, joined Jul 2012, 13114 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 14373 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 2):
I'm a little surprised they didn't wait a little longer. Certification changes might not just be for lithium, but for all battery types.

NiCad batteries are proven technology. The A350 test program is very tight with no room for error and certification changes could require extra work and might delay the EIS. Airbus don't want to gamble.

[Edited 2013-02-15 04:38:42]


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.
User currently offlinespokemd From United States of America, joined May 2005, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 13530 times:

How much weight will this add to the each plane?


kjot-kgai
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 13314 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 3):
Hhmnmm, so with this change of battery type, does this change any design that was frozen prior to this? Weight changes also??
Quoting spokemd (Reply 16):
How much weight will this add to the each plane?

The physical size of the battery compartments will have to be approx 3x larger than the design for the LI battery.

For the B787 the weight change would be from a man portable battery approx 50 lbs to a battery requiring mechanical assistance to move and change weighing near 200 lbs.

The A350 will have to change the battery storage enclosure, and spacing, but the biggest change will be to enable some type of mechanical lift device to enable a battery change to occur - IF the A350 is designed like most other aircraft for where the battery packs are located.

The loss of payload capacity will be minor - under 300 lbs. Maintenance is the bigger issue.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8034 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 13294 times:

I believe that by staying with a bleed-air system, the A350XWB only needs a relatively small NiCad battery to start the systems that power up the APU and the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Given the size of the A350XWB, battery size is not so much an issue.

User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8656 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 13087 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 18):
The loss of payload capacity will be minor - under 300 lbs. Maintenance is the bigger issue.

You're comparing it to the 787 which requires far more battery power. I suspect the A350 batteries will be a lot smaller. Yes still bigger relative to the LI batteries but smaller than the equivalent 787 batteries.


User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3669 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 12263 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 7):
Maybe you should read this....

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/most...drive

Most of Tesla's post has been successfully rebutted by disinterested third parties: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/techn...laims-new-york-times-fakery/62149/

According to Jalopnik, the only actual witness to the test drive - a tow truck driver - also supports the NY Times review.

The takeaway is that Broder may not have driven the car the way Musk wanted him to, but that's kind of the point - consumers aren't always going to use your products in the exact way you intend. And that has parallels in the airline industry as well.

I like Elon Musk and what he's had to say about 787 batteries, but it seems to me that he's capable of playing both sides of the battery issue (probably because he can't accept that he's not the one guy with all the answers).

[Edited 2013-02-15 07:15:15]


I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2494 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 12089 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 20):
Most of Tesla's post has been successfully rebutted by disinterested third parties: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/techn...laims-new-york-times-fakery/62149/

According to Jalopnik, the only actual witness to the test drive - a tow truck driver - also supports the NY Times review.

The takeaway is that Broder may not have driven the car the way Musk wanted him to, but that's kind of the point - consumers aren't always going to use your products in the exact way you intend. And that has parallels in the airline industry as well.

I like Elon Musk and what he's had to say about 787 batteries, but it seems to me that he's capable of playing both sides of the battery issue (probably because he can't accept that he's not the one guy with all the answers).

And this all has nothing to do with the topic at hand.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4944 posts, RR: 40
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 11952 times:
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Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 15):
NiCad batteries are proven technology. The A350 test program is very tight with no room for error and certification changes could require extra work and might delay the EIS. Airbus don't want to gamble.

Which is very wise in my opinion. If clarity and possible design changes on the Lithium-Ion batteries have become clear, it will not be a bog change to install the Lithium-Ion in later produces A350's. But the current situation leaves no room for error or a further delay. So again I think this is a smart move to make in this stage of the program.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 18):

I believe that by staying with a bleed-air system, the A350XWB only needs a relatively small NiCad battery to start the systems that power up the APU and the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Given the size of the A350XWB, battery size is not so much an issue.

Not as big an issue as on the B787, but still something to carefully consider.

Quoting zeke (Reply 1):

Yet another lesson learned.

Indeed.  .


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31399 posts, RR: 85
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 11780 times:
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Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 8):
I have not commented on the Boeing threads, but I do think their Li-Ion chemistry was poorly mistaken. They should have used a metallic chemistry like LIP or LNMC and not a more chemically unstable lithium cobalt oxide.

At the time Boeing started development of the 787, most of the newer Li-Ion chemistries did not exist yet.

If Boeing makes a change (be it forced or by choice), I could see them go from the current lithium cobalt oxide with manganese to lithium nickel manganese cobalt (which was not developed until 2008) as it is closest to the current chemistry and is less volatile. They could also go with lithium iron phosphate, which is evidently the most thermally stable, though it would require an additional cell to provide the 75 Amp Hours of capacity.


User currently offlineJoePatroni707 From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 11728 times:

Would Boeing be able to change the 787 to Ni-Cad batteries? Either way you look at it this does not make the 787 program look good. I am certain that Boeing will work out the changes needed and make the 787 a success but still, if I were a 787 customer I would not be happy.

25 Stitch : They could, but evidently it would require significant modifications to the electrical system. While I haven't seen any details, I have read that the
26 rcair1 : As has been reported multiple times in these threads - the size of the 787 battery is largely driven by the computer/avionics systems, not the electr
27 airtechy : There is no reason that the replacement nicad battery has to be one battery. It could be several batteries connected in series/parallel to yield 24 vo
28 Pellegrine : ? At the start of any development program there are many technologies which are not yet mature. The problems with lithium cobalt oxide were very well
29 ServantLeader : Smart move by Airbus from a strategic / PR standpoint alone -- it will likely force Boeing's hand to do the same as it builds on the public perception
30 ikramerica : Reinforces my belief that the A380 and any other LiIon aircraft should also be grounded until their containment and battery designs can be "decertifie
31 Pellegrine : And where are the A380 diversions which are traced back to the battery? Do not be bitter and show your colors so obviously.
32 Kaiarahi : It's a fact, not a claim. The batteries are smaller than those in a laptop. So to be consistent, all consumer electronics should be banned from the c
33 Pacific : As reliable as the non-aviation press is, this is what I found.
34 Revelation : Huh? Both aircraft use the batteries to start the APU which then is used to start the main engines in normal use. I imagine these APUs have similar d
35 Post contains links anfromme : Not quite. Both aircraft also have a second electrical bay which houses the battery/ies to power the plane's main systems. One difference is that the
36 rwessel : Don't confuse voltage and current. Both are 28V systems, but Boeing's requires at least somewhat more current. It's been reported that the main drive
37 rcair1 : This is not relevant. Yes - the generator capacity on (alternators really) on the 787 APU are higher, but the APU does not generate compressed air fo
38 EPA001 : Would that load be similar to those on the A350-XWB? Or are there significant differences between the B787 and the A350-XWB in this area?
39 Aesma : I had done the research and found out the A350 APU is actually quite more powerful than the 787 APU. It's a 1700shp unit whereas the 787 APU is only
40 Stitch : Boeing could have used different batteries for the Ship's and APU, however they chose to use the same one because you can MEL with an inoperative APU
41 7BOEING7 : The 787 does use two batterys--the Main battery assists the APU battery during APU start. The Main battery provides power to the Capt's instruments "
42 anfromme : Question being if the amount of power to start a 1,100 shp (820kW) APU is that much lower than the power required to start a 1,700 shp (1,300kW) unit
43 anfromme : Thanks for the clarification. My main point was the total number of batteries that the load gets distributed among. AFAIK, Airbus was going to give t
44 Kaiarahi : And all 4 batteries are in the forward EE bay. Probably another reason to rethink Li-Ion, at least short term.
45 Revelation : I think the nominal case of starting the APU would require similar amounts of power. I'd imagine that one would not be putting load on the generators
46 seat55a : In other threads, some knowledgeable people have said the 787 uses the main computers to monitor activities like fuelling, unlike other aircraft. This
47 Aesma : The incidents would also suggest that the 787 batteries are not too "powerful" but rather not enough.
48 Stitch : Power delivery isn't the issue - capacity is. And if you run it longer than it's rated capacity, it doesn't matter how large the battery is.
49 Post contains images ferpe : On most systems the A350 is a moderately modernized version of an A380 so find out how the A380 does it and you have a good guess of how the A350 doe
50 Aesma : I put "powerful" into quotes to convey that idea of capacity since I didn't know if I could say "too capacitive" or something like that. Of course a
51 Stitch : I suggest that they are not "watching the clock" close enough and are exceeding whatever time limits Boeing has published for various tasks that requ
52 rwessel : Since they're both turbines, just taking the ratio (1100/1700) should get you pretty close. More voltage is simply a matter of running cells in serie
53 BestWestern : Sorry for the basic question, but why doesn't ground power start the APU? I can't think of anywhere the 350 would be where ground power wouldn't be a
54 Stitch : In the case of the 787, which is what 7BOEING7 was discussing, it was a customer request item. I therefore assume some customers plan to operate the
55 7BOEING7 : All the airplanes Boeing has built 727 thru 787 have the capability to start the APU from the APU battery at fields without available external power.
56 thegeek : How's the APU started after taxiing to the gate before switching off the engines? Does the APU battery do that or the main alternators?
57 Stitch : I would expect the most convenient way would be to use the engine generators.
58 zeke : Aircraft distribute their power using different circuits (usually called busses). During normal operations theses busses are powered by the generator
59 thegeek : Does that mean ground power needs to be connected before shutting down the engines, or that the battery needs to provide electrical power in between
60 7BOEING7 : On Boeing airplanes the normal operation is to start APU when taxiing in so it powers the airplane electric/pneumatic when the engines are shutdown,
61 zeke : Normally we start the APU prior to the gate in case we get a tailpipe fire and need to blow the engine out. The APU is turned off as soon as ground p
62 Antoniemey : That really depends on the airline, the ground location, and the length of stay.
63 Post contains images Heavierthanair : G´day ´that be another word for afterburner? Sorry if that would be a question for the tech forum Cheers Peter
64 zeke : Ours tend to average around 14+ hours a day, by the time the turn arounds at taken into account it is not really that long. Common for maintenance ph
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