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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:37 am

Stitch wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
True, but supplier saying this is the best we can do and Boeing being content with it is the problem.


Technology will advance. There are Li-Ion formulations that are a fair bit safer, but they as yet lack the energy density and/or longevity to meet the requirements (not just of aerospace, but also automotive and consumer electronics/tools). However, work is being done to improve their performance and once they are as effective as current formulations, they should be adopted (and as they scale in production, costs will drop and their adoption will increase).

I am going to query the use of the word "requirements".
"There are Li-Ion formulations that are a fair bit safer, but they.. (fail) to meet the requirements of aerospace, etc, etc."

Boeing's 787 could very easily manage with older tried & tested Li-Ion formulations. It would add a few kg to the empty weight of the 'frame, and reduce the effective payload by an equally small amount, but it isn't in itself going to stop the aircraft from performing 99.98% of it's current spec.

But for some reason (pride?) Boeing are incapable of taking this backwards step.

And, since Airbus do not seem to have the same issues, I am guessing that they are already using these tried & tested Li-Ion types. Either that or they have been incredibly "lucky" ... so far.
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Aesma
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:47 am

I'm not overly concerned by this but I wonder why the NTSB wouldn't make any such incident reportable, then they would be able to have reliable data.
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Faro
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:50 am

Just a quick sidenote...If I am not mistaken Boeing was not able to ascertain the definitive reason for the initial battery incident that led to the grondings...this was what I recall from some time back...is this still true or not?...


Faro
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dtw2hyd
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:46 am

2175301 wrote:
My memory from when the original issues occurred is that they identified a manufacturing issue, which may have had to do with needing more precise quality control, as the base cause of the initial 787 battery issues, and also a minor design improvement. Such manufacturing and minor design issues are fixable (happens in many products); yet, there is no such thing as 100% quality control - in anything. Thus, a certain number of failures will occur in the future. That is why both Airbus and Boeing currently have these batteries in a containment system.

Have a great day,


So you are claiming Tesla and General Motors spending $$Millions in battery labs constantly tweaking the cocktail to make the battery better and safer don't know what they are doing?

Was there any attempt by GS Yuasa to change the formulation?

200 lbs dead weight of two containment boxes was not in design. That is one less rev pax. I am sure Boeing paid compensation to early operators Still beats me why Boeing takes the blame for suppliers' faults.
 
BREECH
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:48 am

WIederling wrote:
That is not the case. For one Titanium is pretty popular for tooling and plating copper bus bars in scope of electroplating.

Hmm, interesting. I didn't know that. Titanium as plating for copper... I SO want to see the process. Will go search for videos. Thanks.
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BREECH
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:52 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
I am sure you realise this is relevant particularly because one standard procedure for extinguishing a fire is to exclude oxygen. In most cases this is achieved with a CO² extinguisher, but as Wikipedia says... "Water and carbon dioxide are ineffective for extinguishing a titanium fire; ". And now we have Nitrogen being ineffective too.

That is exactly my point. Titanium fire is virtually inextinguishable.
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:07 pm

Aesma wrote:
I'm not overly concerned by this but I wonder why the NTSB wouldn't make any such incident reportable, then they would be able to have reliable data.


I second this.

The way I see it:

- The hysteria about the contained event is over the top.

- The hysteria about the original uncontained events was entirely warranted

- Fire onboard, to my mind, is something that should always be reported and investigated - I find it very odd that this is not a requirement... especially since these events are still unpredictable!
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Balerit
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:41 pm

So, for the 'oh it was nothing ' crowd, do you just ignore this and say 'oh it's normal for fluid to be pouring out of the battery vent' and carry on as normal? Would you as a diligent ground engineer snag this and get it actioned, or hope that it goes away or hope no one else notices it? Before answering this, consider the who ha the first time around.

Again I ask: can this be dispatched inop or is it just too critical for the aircafts performance to despatch as per DDM or MEL? Answer this and you will realize how important this incident is.
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Revelation
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:53 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
Aesma wrote:
I'm not overly concerned by this but I wonder why the NTSB wouldn't make any such incident reportable, then they would be able to have reliable data.


I second this.

The way I see it:

- The hysteria about the contained event is over the top.

- The hysteria about the original uncontained events was entirely warranted

- Fire onboard, to my mind, is something that should always be reported and investigated - I find it very odd that this is not a requirement... especially since these events are still unpredictable!

A fire on-board is a reportable event ( ref: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?S ... 9.7.830_15 ).

Since NTSB has said this is not a reportable event, we might want to see if the venting of the battery cells happened without a fire.
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scbriml
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:07 pm

Balerit wrote:
So, for the 'oh it was nothing ' crowd, do you just ignore this and say 'oh it's normal for fluid to be pouring out of the battery vent' and carry on as normal?


It's not 'normal' (but then again nor is an engine failure 'normal'), but the containment system worked exactly as it was designed to. Safety of the flight was not compromised.

Balerit wrote:
Would you as a diligent ground engineer snag this and get it actioned, or hope that it goes away or hope no one else notices it?


Really not sure what you're asking here. :confused:

The battery system will obviously have to be fixed/replaced before the plane can be used again. Might be as simple as replacing one failed cell and cleaning up any mess.

Balerit wrote:
Again I ask: can this be dispatched inop or is it just too critical for the aircafts performance to despatch as per DDM or MEL?


I very much doubt any modern plane can be dispatched for service with its battery system inop. Just like you wouldn't dispatch a 787 with an inop engine. Or like a 757 flight of mine once which couldn't be dispatched because of an anti-ice system issue.
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:18 pm

Revelation wrote:

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
- Fire onboard, to my mind, is something that should always be reported and investigated - I find it very odd that this is not a requirement... especially since these events are still unpredictable!

A fire on-board is a reportable event ( ref: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?S ... 9.7.830_15 ).

Since NTSB has said this is not a reportable event, we might want to see if the venting of the battery cells happened without a fire.

I suspect you are right, and that thought occurred to me too. I have suffered several battery cell failures over the years with differing degrees of severity. None of them caused a fire as such, but there have been noxious fumes, acid spillage, electrical circuits wasted, and (depending on your outlook) the risk of fire.

But, getting back to the letter of the law; if a smoke detector goes off, a temperature sensor reaches critical, but the event is contained by activating the fire extinguishers, is this also reportable? Note; there has been no "fire" as such - it was all contained, as two hundred soaking wet passengers can testify...... :hot:
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mjoelnir
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:31 pm

BREECH wrote:
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
I am sure you realise this is relevant particularly because one standard procedure for extinguishing a fire is to exclude oxygen. In most cases this is achieved with a CO² extinguisher, but as Wikipedia says... "Water and carbon dioxide are ineffective for extinguishing a titanium fire; ". And now we have Nitrogen being ineffective too.

That is exactly my point. Titanium fire is virtually inextinguishable.


The point is, first the conditions to cause a fire has to be met and just because a fire can not be distinguished by certain methods does not make a fire indistinguishable.

http://www.fireengineering.com/articles ... fires.html

To make a point!!!!!

quote: As a rule, larger products of alkali earth and transitional metals such as bars, ingots, heavy castings, and thick plates or sheets are virtually impossible to ignite; in most cases, they will self-extinguish when the heat source is removed.

So what does the titanium containment box do. It keeps the oxygen away from the lithium ion battery, so the fire inside the box is contained the moment the oxygen inside the box is finished. It stops the vapor of the hydrocarbon solvent inside the battery from escaping into the inside of the airplain and vents it outside.
The conditions to produce a titanium fire are not present. No chlorine gas, no liquid oxygen, no 100 % nitrogen atmosphere. The box is made from rather thick plates, that are initially difficult to ignite and if it starts burning or oxidizing inside or outside the titanium oxide, oxidizing happens rather than forming nitrite by itself in plain air, limits the fire. Once the surface is oxidized, that gives protection to further oxidizing aka burning.

It must be astonishing why aircraft engines with often heavy use of titanium does not immediately combust when exposed to air and heat. :sarcastic:

If you want to stop any metal fire inside an airplane, be it aluminium, or something else, you could use an Argon based foam solution called Cargo Foam.
One way to extinguish metal fires, I would not do that on an airplane, is accelerating the burn with other agents, to burn of the available oxygen and in that way stop the metal fire.
I have not come near an titanium fire, but aluminium and magnesium fires, that are quite a bit worse than a titanium fire. In every case we used a special foam, produced by mixing chemicals into the water used. As it is quite a while ago, I do not remember the exact chemicals used, but it did work by isolating the burning metal from the air around it. I assume that there are better systems today, but 40 years ago it worked for us.
 
WIederling
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:43 pm

scbriml wrote:
The battery system will obviously have to be fixed/replaced before the plane can be used again. Might be as simple as replacing one failed cell and cleaning up any mess.


If a cell had a thermal runaway and electrolyte is ejected from the system "take wipe and replace a cell" wont work.

IMHO:
The battery inner enclosure ( that flimsy thing folded from Al ) complete with everything inside is toast.
You first have to clean out the boom box and associated tubing. Replace where damaged.
Do a postmortem on the actual battery.
Remove all streaks of electrolyte that might have contaminated the area behind the vent.
Replace all wiring that entered the box. Look for over current damage outside the box.

fit a new battery. Check all associated systems.
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:44 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Boeing's 787 could very easily manage with older tried & tested Li-Ion formulations.


They'd have some difficulty. Battery capacity is needed for an engine out landing as braking is fully electric actuation.
Below where the RAT is effective braking to a standstill requires most of the "very short term" available battery capacity.
( much less then nominal (1/5th 1/10th C discharge) capacity.

Engine start puts similar loads on the battery. After that you need to fast charge the batpack to be able to brake in an emergency.
incompatibility with ground power units aggravated this use case. Instead of starting from ground power crews started from bat power.
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:23 pm

WIederling wrote:
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Boeing's 787 could very easily manage with older tried & tested Li-Ion formulations.

They'd have some difficulty. Battery capacity is needed for an engine out landing as braking is fully electric actuation.
Below where the RAT is effective braking to a standstill requires most of the "very short term" available battery capacity.
( much less then nominal (1/5th 1/10th C discharge) capacity.

Engine start puts similar loads on the battery. After that you need to fast charge the batpack to be able to brake in an emergency.
incompatibility with ground power units aggravated this use case. Instead of starting from ground power crews started from bat power.

"They'd have some difficulty" Oh please!
Incompatibilty with ground power units is a very strange (& lame) excuse.
Why is this problem confined to the 787? Was it designed to operate from poorly equipped third-world airports with grass runways and inadequate support facilities? Or did Boeing design an interface that was unique to the 787, and then neglect to share this information with anyone else?
How do other aircraft with the latest high capacity turbofans manage to start their engines? A380, 747-8, 777, etc etc

It sounds like blame is being spread out in a variety of directions in order to avoid criticism of the batteries themselves, but regardless, in every case it still comes back to BOEING.

More to the point, what do you think is so special about Boeing's new batteries that makes them impossible to replace with older technology? What exactly is the difference between the newer (not yet 100% reliable) formulations, and the older tried & tested formulations?
Unless you know something remarkable, it's basically three things.
1) Cost
2) Weight
3) Reliability
Please explain why a 787 couldn't manage with something that costs less, is proven more reliable, but weighs more. The only question you can place against this is "how much more weight"? Is it so significant that the aircraft is no longer viable? I suggest that it is well short of that.
The solution (IMHO) is to refit current 787s with older Li-Ion batteries, hopefully as a temporary measure, compensate the airlines for a reduced payload (if it is even that much) and offer airlines a free upgrade as soon as the newer cell types prove themselves after by passing a comprehensive battery of tests. (Did you see what I did there....).
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Stitch
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:27 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Boeing's 787 could very easily manage with older tried & tested Li-Ion formulations. It would add a few kg to the empty weight of the 'frame, and reduce the effective payload by an equally small amount, but it isn't in itself going to stop the aircraft from performing 99.98% of it's current spec. But for some reason (pride?) Boeing are incapable of taking this backwards step.


The formulation is tried & tested. It's why the batteries don't fail every day. Same reason your consumer electronics Li-Ion batteries do not fail every day, even though they also can fail in a very energetic manner on the rare occasion that they do.

I believe Iron-Phosphate is the "holy grail" formulation being looked into as it offers very high energy densities along with fast recharge rates and long-term storage - all things the 787's battery system needs. It was still in early development stages back when the 787 was grounded and I don't know how far along the technology has advanced in commercial applications (if at all) since then.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
And, since Airbus do not seem to have the same issues, I am guessing that they are already using these tried & tested Li-Ion types. Either that or they have been incredibly "lucky" ... so far.


They use the same formulation, but the battery power needs of an A350 are far lower than that of a 787 so Airbus was able to use a less-capable, but more conservative, design.



Balerit wrote:
Again I ask: can this be dispatched inop or is it just too critical for the aircafts performance to despatch as per DDM or MEL? Answer this and you will realize how important this incident is.


And again I answer: the APU battery is not a MEL item, but the main battery is.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
"They'd have some difficulty" Oh please! Incompatibility with ground power units is a very strange (& lame) excuse. Why is this problem confined to the 787? How do other aircraft with the latest high capacity turbofans manage to start their engines? A380, 747-8, 777, etc etc


The 787 uses electrical power for many systems that on other airframes are handled via hydraulics (like the brakes) or pneumatics (like HVAC and engine start). As such, the 787's electrical requirements are significantly higher than those on other airframes and one of the main drivers for using Lithium-Ion batteries were because they could meet those requirements in a way earlier formulations either could not or could not in an economical way (due to size, weight and maintenance).
 
WIederling
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:06 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
It sounds like blame is being spread out in a variety of directions in order to avoid criticism of the batteries themselves, but regardless, in every case it still comes back to BOEING.



Don't lambast me. I wasn't involved.
Groundpower Unit use was fickle ( I suppose this is fixed now? But initially the Dreamliner was a GPU killer )
use google. so much talk at the time. one from a range: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=327jRByvVXI


Please explain why a 787 couldn't manage with something that costs less, is proven more reliable, but weighs more.


charge/discharge efficiency. LiIon has extremely low impedance. No other chemistry allows to discharge a battery as fast and low loss
as with LiIon ( only LiPo is better but even more volatile.) i.e. a traditional NICad battery would require 1.4 times the energy you can discharge
while the Li cell needs less than 1.1 times just for a regular charge / discharge cycle. Lower Impedance reduces heating in the cell from losses.
I don't think you can power the electric braking system in an emergency from NiCad in a commercially viable way.
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2175301
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:32 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
BREECH wrote:
"Titanium is one of the few elements that burns in pure nitrogen gas, reacting at 800 °C"


2175301 wrote:
{an aircraft environment is...} Not a pure nitrogen gas environment...

May I offer just the tiniest of clarifications? (no, I'm not being sarcastic - it really is just a small point of order)
The claim that Titanium burns in pure nitrogen gas isn't significant because it is pure nitrogen; it is significant because pure nitrogen excludes everything else. And in most cases this would be a good thing because Nitrogen gas would extinguish many fires that way.
Therefore Titanium would also burn in 80% nitrogen (earth's atmosphere) or any other number from 0% upwards. And such gases are found in a typical aircraft environment, invalidating that particular response to Breech

I am sure you realise this is relevant particularly because one standard procedure for extinguishing a fire is to exclude oxygen. In most cases this is achieved with a CO² extinguisher, but as Wikipedia says... "Water and carbon dioxide are ineffective for extinguishing a titanium fire; ". And now we have Nitrogen being ineffective too.

I should add that I am not a chemist, more of an alchemist, so I'm just offering a lay-persons viewpoint from what I have read myself.


I was trying to point out the absurdity of the claims: That you could take such a list (and there are no perfect materials) and then declare that its a hazard for a common application. Get Real! The conditions that it takes for titanium plate or bulk solids to combust are extremely rare.

How many on this site know that powdered aluminum is extremely combustible... so much so that it is a base material in non-liquid rocket fuels, thermite, and even some conflagration type explosives. Yet, perfectly safe in solid sheet form for aircraft skins at normal temperatures...

Aviation would not exist if all materials had to comply with such list of places they are not good for or their behavior under non-typical applications. The key of proper material selection is to find materials that offer the best combination of properties for an application. Titanium is an excellent choice for batter containment boxes in aviation/space applications where weight is a factor. I cannot even think of a good 2nd choice material (without adding a lot of weight).

Have a great day,
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:35 pm

Stitch wrote:
The formulation is tried & tested. It's why the batteries don't fail every day.
I believe Iron-Phosphate is the "holy grail" formulation being looked into as it offers very high energy densities along with fast recharge rates and long-term storage - all things the 787's battery system needs.
I'm confused; is the Boeing 787 using the "tried & tested" formulation, or the "holy grail" formulation still under development?

Whilst you consider your answer to that, here's mud in your eye!
Wikipedia wrote:
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses large lithium cobalt oxide batteries, which are more reactive than newer types of batteries such as LiFePO 4

And for those of you who are already confused; Stitch's "Iron-Phosphate" holy grail is the same as Wikipedia's "LiFePO4", but Boeing are apparently using an even newer, more reactive formula than that. (Lithium Cobalt Oxide)

So, does that change anything you have said e.g. do you still claim Boeing are using a tried & tested formulation? And are Airbus using the same?

They {Airbus} use the same formulation, but the battery power needs of an A350 are far lower than that of a 787 so Airbus was able to use a less-capable, but more conservative, design.
More double-speak there I believe! Boeing could use exactly the same "less-capable" design; they would simply need more units. And bigger cables to carry the current. And bigger fuses to protect the circuits. And more shielding to eliminate R/F interference. But it's all tried & tested technology, and wouldn't lead to the problems they are having right now. Something doesn't add up.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the 787's electrical architecture in comparison to other aircraft.
Yep, that's me. But I'm perfectly willing to learn.
The 787 uses electrical power for many systems that on other airframes are handled via hydraulics (like the brakes) or pneumatics (like HVAC and engine start). As such, the 787's electrical requirements are significantly higher than those on other airframes and one of the main drivers for using Lithium-Ion batteries were because they could meet those requirements in a way earlier formulations either could not or could not in an economical way (due to size, weight and maintenance).

I'm grateful for your answers; every little piece of information adds to our knowledge here. The introduction of the phrase "in an economical way" is particularly telling.
Does this change anything I have said, about diverting the blame away from the Li-Ion batteries themselves, but it still coming back to a BOEING problem?
Please don't believe I am gloating at this; if you recall originally I was happy to lay 50% of the blame on shoddy Chinese Quality Control.
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:47 pm

I wrote:
Please explain why a 787 couldn't manage with something that costs less, is proven more reliable, but weighs more.

Wlederling wrote:
charge/discharge efficiency. LiIon has extremely low impedance. No other chemistry allows to discharge a battery as fast and low loss
as with LiIon ( only LiPo is better but even more volatile.) i.e. a traditional NICad battery would require 1.4 times the energy you can discharge
Not, not Ni-Cads. Do you seriously think I would be that Neanderthal?
I am suggesting early, proven formulas of Li-Ion, not the latest experimental types.
I'm only suggesting Boeing revert to what Airbus are using anyway.
Or are you now telling me Airbus are still using Ni-Cads? If that is the case, then I give up.

WIederling wrote:
Don't lambast me. I wasn't involved.
Sorry, that was not my intention at all. :white:
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Stitch
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:57 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
I'm confused; is the Boeing 787 using the "tried & tested" formulation, or the "holy grail" formulation still under development?


At the time Boeing sourced the design for the batteries (which was years before the 787 first flew, much less entered service), "LiFePO4" was still in the laboratory and there were no commercial applications for it. So it was not available to them as an option.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:

Wikipedia wrote:
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses large lithium cobalt oxide batteries, which are more reactive than newer types of batteries such as LiFePO 4

So, does that change anything you have said e.g. do you still claim Boeing are using a tried & tested formulation? And are Airbus using the same?


Lithium cobalt oxide is probably one of the most common chemistries used in all types of Li-Ion batteries , so I would consider it "tried and tested" considering how many batteries that use said chemistry are manufactured each year (on the order of probably billions considering annual capacity production is measured in the scores of gigawatt hours).


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Boeing could use exactly the same "less-capable" design; they would simply need more units. And bigger cables to carry the current. And bigger fuses to protect the circuits. And more shielding to eliminate R/F interference. But it's all tried & tested technology, and wouldn't lead to the problems they are having right now. Something doesn't add up.


What doesn't add up is the economics. Even with the weight of the new containment system, a Ni-Cd-based system would have weighed even more, taken up more physical space in the electronics bay (which likely would have then created it's own cascade of weight creep to design around) and would have increased maintenance costs, especially in colder operating environments (due to Ni-Cd's reduced performance in low temperatures). All of which would have been negatives to the airframe.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
The introduction of the phrase "in an economical way" is particularly telling.


The only industry I can think of that spends more money to eliminate a kilogram of weight than aerospace is Formula One auto racing. This is why Airbus went forward with Li-Ion on the A350 even though they had a working Ni-Cd alternative they used on the earliest frames to protect them from any regulatory fall-out from the 787 grounding that could have impacted initial EIS. Even with the protections, it still weighs less and performs better / requires less maintenance than the Ni-Cd system.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Does this change anything I have said, about diverting the blame away from the Li-Ion batteries themselves, but it still coming back to a BOEING problem?


It's a "Boeing problem" in that they defined the specifications that battery system needed to meet (in terms of performance, weight and cost) that GS Yuasa then designed and built to. Those specifications directed GS Yuasa down a path of using Lithium cobalt oxide as the chemistry for the positive electrodes even though it was susceptible to thermal runaway and therefore not as stable or safe as other chemistries that perhaps were available or were in development that might have become available around the 787's EIS.

It's also "Boeing's problem" in that it's a potential point of failure and maintenance cost for the 787 which can impact Dispatch Reliability. DR is a critical metric for airlines when evaluating an airframe so even if the battery containment system was "proven" fail-safe, if the fact that the batteries needed to be replaced so often that the plane spent more time on the ground than in the air then no airline would consider buying a 787. So in addition to working to ensure the batteries are as reliable as can be for safety reasons, there are also sales reasons to do so.
 
WIederling
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:02 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
I was happy to lay 50% of the blame on shoddy Chinese Quality Control.


Japanese. Yuasa's cell manufacture ( really : Manufacture ) is in Japan.
Li-cobalt chemistry really is the older more volatile chemistry.
IMU the Yuasa prismatic cell selection could well be a holdover from the SonicCruiser phase.
See, Boeing didn't start at year ZERO when they announced the Dreamliner to be ready in 4 years.
A range of IMHO bad decisions "from before" prevailed due to the introduced time constraints.

Prismatic cells have disadvantages relative to cylindrical designs. pressure cycles load them in a disadvantageous way.
( Yuasa Li(Mn)Co had collected good Karma in some space apps. but: no high powered dis/charge cycles and no pressure cycling.)

Before FF it was known that the use profile on the current version used had limited life ( 6..8 month, Jon Ostrower ).

chemistries and design:
This is actually a good writeup: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery
Murphy is an optimist
 
xxcr
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:07 pm

Im new when it comes to all the tech on the 787. I remember all the lithion battery issues a few years back and the damaged it caused airlines and boeing. My question is, how does the Venting system work?
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:07 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
If somehow the battery breaks the containment system despite it being ground tested as being able to withstand far more energy than the battery contains, then you have at worst a situation like the two previous incidents where the batteries overheated and vented without full containment, and yet still caused no damage to flight critical systems.


I can agree with the battery inside the containment being safe. I can not imagine a battery event breaching the containment, especially as the containment limits the amount of oxygen available to the battery to burn.

I can not agree that the extremely lucky outcome of a battery venting hydrocarbon fumes inside the electrical cabinet in the 787 is a sign of a safe situation when an uncontained lithium ion battery event happens.


I did not say a large lithium ion battery venting uncontained in the electronics bay is a safe situation. I responded to a question about what would happen if the box failed. So far, the evidence is that, although the risk can not be rule out, the aircraft is likely to remain in flying condition, but it should be a moot point due to the testing that was done on the containment box.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
And for those of you who are already confused; Stitch's "Iron-Phosphate" holy grail is the same as Wikipedia's "LiFePO4", but Boeing are apparently using an even newer, more reactive formula than that. (Lithium Cobalt Oxide)


Lithium cobalt oxide batteries are not new. The same basic chemistry has been in use on the Mars Exploration Rovers for nearly 15 years, and in consumer electronics for about the same length of time. There are conditions under which those batteries are likely to experience thermal runaway, and there are several sub-types, some of which are more stable than others. However, the adverse conditions are well known and can be avoided with a decent battery management system. The main problem with these cells is when users buy cheap off-brand cells from Chinese discount sellers that have serious manufacturing defects like internal shorts, which has led to numerous videos of e-cigarettes and electric skateboards catching fire and being shared on the internet.

Lithium iron phosphate is not a holy grail technology. It has less than half the energy density of lithium cobalt oxide based chemistries, and I think also about half the power density.

I'm honestly curious why Boeing has been having more trouble than other users with cells from a reputable manufacturer. Samsung was able to identify specific defects in their Note 7 batteries when those were in the news.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:11 pm

Revelation wrote:
StrandedAtMKG wrote:
WIederling wrote:
"On Nov 30th 2017 the NTSB reported the occurrence was rated a non-reportable incident, the NTSB had thus not been informed, however, as a courtesy received information from Boeing confirming the occurrence. No investigation has been opened."
as reported on http://avherald.com/h?article=4b1bd122&opt=0


The NTSB had not been informed, but the NTSB had been informed.

Quality reporting there, dudes.

Actually, if you knew aviation rules, it is quality reporting. There is a clear difference between informing the NTSB of an incident (there is specific paperwork for this) versus providing information as a courtesy (which can be done many different ways).


Sorry, but it is still prorating it. No matter what you want to call it. Your comment is like saying it's ok to light something with a lighter, but not a match.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:14 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
...
I'm honestly curious why Boeing has been having more trouble than other users with cells from a reputable manufacturer. Samsung was able to identify specific defects in their Note 7 batteries when those were in the news.


Because Boeing has no say in it other than few engineers review the translation of what GS Yuasa publishes.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:18 pm

Indy wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
itchief wrote:
Do you think the Boeing engineers are so incompetent that this design is that dangerous?


I would not go there. Boeing engineers designed the first system, putting a potential fire hazard without containment, into the main electrical cabinet.


This is all the reason someone needs to avoid every taking the 787. Using these batteries just seems like asking for trouble. I think we need to take one step back when it comes to battery technology and rethink where we go from there. Lithium very unstable and probably not the best metal to use in an airplane.


So you are not to going to fly any modern airliner. The A350 now uses lithium batteries as well. Also pretty much every laptop, cell phone on board. Also the Electronic Flight bags the pilots carry with all the manuals inside. The smoke detectors on most frames, ect.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:25 pm

scbriml wrote:
scotron11 wrote:
last quote from the Forbes article:

Now that Dreamliner battery failures have been deemed "non-reportable" by aviation safety authorities, it is impossible gauge the size or the scope of the problem and that's how some folks seem to want it. The question is "why?"


As long as the containment system is doing its job, why would a battery failure need to be reportable?

It would be an entirely different situation if the containment failed.


I agree.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:29 pm

In regards to all the concern about batteries and fires, we should not forget that the most serious battery-related fire aboard a 787 was the Ethiopian 787 in London-Heathrow when the lithium manganese-dioxide battery in the Honeywell Emergency Locator Transmitter caught fire due to a pinched wire during assembly at Honeywell. While lithium manganese-dioxide is a lithium-ion technology, that battery was non-rechargeable and the formulation it uses is very thermally stable (so they are significantly less-susceptible to thermal runaway).
 
2175301
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:31 pm

There is not a single battery technology that has not had failures. Even if I look at the most expensive conservatively designed lead-acid batteries use for emergency back-up power in nuclear power plants (thousands of dollars per cell - with entire rooms filled with them). Under proper care and management these will last in the range of 30 years. Some fail every year (and some new cells fail within a year). There are still test labs trying to improve lead-acid batteries to eliminate these failures (why GM runs such a lab for automotive batteries). I've had 2 Sears "Die Hard" batteries "die fast" in my life. Other than the inconvenience of not being able to use my car when needed... all that happened was we replace the battery (and in one case spent some time and money cleaning up the battery acid spill as the case leaked).

I am very sure that there has been battery failures of other aircraft batteries in non-787 aircraft. Some of those failures have caused other damage, I am sure. Boeing did not chose an experimental technology or chemistry, nor an experimental power density (and my memory is that the 787 battery design was not custom for Boeing - that it was already in the catalog of items offered for sale by that company). It had been adequately proven in other applications.

Boeing did miss on understanding the failure rate and the need for a containment system for this technology. Had they done so up front I am convinced that they would have stayed with the same batteries and been able to design a lighter containment system than the retrofitted one.

I also understand that the Mfr missed on understanding what was needed for adequate quality control for these batteries as well. Live and learn.

One of the things that both Airbus and Boeing does with the introduction of any new aircraft is to introduce more modern solutions and technology to actual use. That is all that happened here. Aviation would not advance if that was not done. Admittedly, there are always lessons learned on the way and not every idea works out 100% as planned (and the list of needed changes and improvements to aviation products is a very long list). Show me people who never made a mistake - and I'll show you people who don't do anything. Mistakes and issues are very much a part of progress.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:17 pm

OK, I have to admit to some confusion. :confused:

The original Forbes article linked in the OP stated that the containment box is made of Titanium (I'm as guilty as anyone of accepting that without checking for myself). However, all the information I've been able to find online says it's made of stainless steel. The fact an "empty box" adds some 68Kg of weight suggests to me that it's unlikely to be made of Titanium.

Can anyone confirm one way or the other?
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Stitch
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:21 pm

scbriml wrote:
Can anyone confirm one way or the other?


It is Stainless Steel, though the fixtures attaching it to the electronics bays are titanium.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:25 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
...
I'm honestly curious why Boeing has been having more trouble than other users with cells from a reputable manufacturer. Samsung was able to identify specific defects in their Note 7 batteries when those were in the news.


Because Boeing has no say in it other than few engineers review the translation of what GS Yuasa publishes.


They definitely do have a say in it. They wrote the spec, and GS Yuasa and Thales agreed to it, and I know from experience that contracts like these don't contain easy outs for a supplier to screw up and walk away from their problems. For minor out-of-compliance situations, which happen constantly, the response is usually hands-off, letting the supplier resolve the issues on their own. If it's a serious issue, the response could get as drastic as having teams of customer engineers and managers setting up desks in your office so they participate directly in the root cause analysis and resolution, get daily or more frequent updates, and even just to apply pressure to make sure fixing the problem is the supplier's highest priority.

If I remember right they had far more than a "few engineers" on the issue when the 787 was grounded. I seem to recall "hundreds" being mentioned, which makes sense considering the grounding was supposedly costing ANA alone over $1 million a day, and they were likely leaning on Boeing as hard as Boeing was leaning on GS Yuasa. Boeing was under a lot of pressure to figure out what went wrong, and not willing to just leave it to GS Yuasa and Thales.

2175301 wrote:
I am very sure that there has been battery failures of other aircraft batteries in non-787 aircraft.


Yes, the Cessna CitationJet CJ4 had a lithium ion battery fire two years before the 787 did. It was caused by overcharging, if I understand right, something the 787 had multiple layers of protection to prevent. The 787 investigation determined the charging protection worked properly, so that was not an issue. In Cessna's case, they elected to revert to NiCad or lead acid batteries. Presumably better protection against over-charging would have been an option for them, too.

NiCad aircraft batteries had problems, too, according to commentary from various sources, including the NTSB. Those issues predate the internet though, so it's not easy to look up detailed information on them.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:13 am

iamlucky13 wrote:

They definitely do have a say in it. They wrote the spec, and GS Yuasa and Thales agreed to it, and I know from experience that contracts like these don't contain easy outs for a supplier to screw up and walk away from their problems. ...


May I remind you 787 program didn't follow traditional outsourcing model. Courtesy of the epic failure "risk-sharing partners" model combined with sloppy contracts Boeing signed, Boeing underwrote all the risk, so-called "risk-sharing partners" did all the mistakes and walked away with impunity.

Wrap six off-the-shelf cells, plastic spacers, and a charger, voila 787 battery system was born.

100s of Boeing engineers worked on the workaround, because they don't know what is going on with the cell.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:28 am

I would not be sad if the 787 is grounded forever. Who wants to be squeezed into 3-3-3 seating on such a narrow wide-body aircraft. Maybe they can bring back the 744.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:

They definitely do have a say in it. They wrote the spec, and GS Yuasa and Thales agreed to it, and I know from experience that contracts like these don't contain easy outs for a supplier to screw up and walk away from their problems. ...


May I remind you 787 program didn't follow traditional outsourcing model. Courtesy of the epic failure "risk-sharing partners" model combined with sloppy contracts Boeing signed, Boeing underwrote all the risk, so-called "risk-sharing partners" did all the mistakes and walked away with impunity.

Wrap six off-the-shelf cells, plastic spacers, and a charger, voila 787 battery system was born.

100s of Boeing engineers worked on the workaround, because they don't know what is going on with the cell.


Sure remind away, but please don't take offense if, based on my experience, I don't find the reminder to be convincing of the point you wish to make.
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:09 am

I stumbled over this twelve years old site:
http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/content/thale ... dreamliner

That's a long time ago, but it's quite interesting to see how the thinking was at that time.

If I was GS Yuasa webmaster, then I think I would plan to remove that site from the web.

PS: Well link doesn't work due to a.net system not accepting the apostrophe in "boeing's". Copy and paste instead:
http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/content/thale ... -gs-yuasa-
followed by: lithium-ion-battery-system-boeing’s-787-dreamliner
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
2175301
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:46 am

Try this link for GS Yuasa & Dreamliner (it works)

http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/content/thale ... dreamliner

I also see no reason for GS Yuasa to remove this page. The base claims appear accurate about the advantage of this battery. It also shows that this was not just some fly-by-night company.

Have a great day,
Last edited by 2175301 on Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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smittythepirate
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:49 am

Ziyulu wrote:
I would not be sad if the 787 is grounded forever. Who wants to be squeezed into 3-3-3 seating on such a narrow wide-body aircraft. Maybe they can bring back the 744.


Not sure why you would want the plane grounded considering it is the airlines that request the 3-3-3 seating
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Classa64
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:15 am

xxcr wrote:
Im new when it comes to all the tech on the 787. I remember all the lithion battery issues a few years back and the damaged it caused airlines and boeing. My question is, how does the Venting system work?


This might help you, scroll down a bit it shows a good pic of the venting system and an explanation of all the improvements. Seems the only Titanium is the Brackets to support the stainless steel box that holds the battery.

http://www.boeingblogs.com/randy/archiv ... ion_1.html


C.
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neutronstar73
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:22 am

2175301 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Did GS Yuasa change battery formula since inception (or) sticking to their "there is no issue with the battery" argument?

I sincerely doubt 787 batteries face the loads and conditions of the battery of an electric roadster. Stepping on the throttle and hitting a pole, ditching or foreign object is a very likely scenario for an automotive.


My memory from when the original issues occurred is that they identified a manufacturing issue, which may have had to do with needing more precise quality control, as the base cause of the initial 787 battery issues, and also a minor design improvement. Such manufacturing and minor design issues are fixable (happens in many products); yet, there is no such thing as 100% quality control - in anything. Thus, a certain number of failures will occur in the future. That is why both Airbus and Boeing currently have these batteries in a containment system.

Have a great day,


You also said that a Honeywell ELT problem COMPLETELY DESTROYED A 787, which is 100% verifiable incorrect, so maybe your memory needs a wee bit of an update! ;-)
 
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Revelation
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:19 am

Classa64 wrote:
This might help you, scroll down a bit it shows a good pic of the venting system and an explanation of all the improvements. Seems the only Titanium is the Brackets to support the stainless steel box that holds the battery.

http://www.boeingblogs.com/randy/archiv ... ion_1.html

It also tells us:

The battery case will sit in a new enclosure made of stainless steel. This enclosure will isolate the battery from the rest of the equipment in the electronic equipment bays. It also will ensure there can be no fire inside the enclosure, thus adding another layer of protection to the battery system.

This tells us (as did an earlier post) that one of the main criteria for making a "reportable event" cannot happen.
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KarelXWB
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:27 am

KLDC10 wrote:
Simply, because you don't need a containment system if something is working as it ought to.


Lithium-ion batteries can, and will fail from time to time. It cannot be prevented.

scbriml wrote:
BREECH wrote:
All that aside... They installed a TITANIUM box to contain an overheating li-ion battery!? The question I have is... ARE THEY NUTS!? Have they seen a titanium fire? Nothing, and I mean absolutely NOTHING can suppress that until all titanium burns out. How high titanium burns? 2500C? 3500C? Am I the only one who thinks that an overheating li-ion battery can start a fire which will then ignite the "titanium box" and that will be the end?


You think Airbus and Boeing engineers and the certifying authorities are nuts?

A Li-ion battery burns at 1,000C. The melting point of solid Titanium is 1,686C. While molten Titanium can burn, it can also be treated during manufacture to reduce the risk of burning.


The biggest concern is the risk of a thermal runaway, because it cannot be contained. Hence Boeing did not just built a containment box, they also introduced a venting system to keep the temperature under control.

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dtw2hyd
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:32 am

iamlucky13 wrote:

Sure remind away, but please don't take offense if, based on my experience, I don't find the reminder to be convincing of the point you wish to make.


Your statement is valid in a traditional outsourcing environment, not in a risk-sharing partner model. With a risk-sharing partner model Boeing expected partners to invest in development/production, own the intellectual property, build and assume all the risks post sales.

Unfortunately, some couldn't even invest fully, Boeing has to jump in and all of them didn't assume any risks.

Had Boeing used traditional outsourcing model, take the design it would have owned to a different supplier. Now the IP is with the partner.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:36 am

StTim wrote:
Proving that:

a) the initial risk assessment on the battery was deeply flawed
b) the heavy venting system implemented does work.

I wonder how may other failures there have been.


Sounds like the venting system worked as designed?
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:41 am

BravoOne wrote:
StTim wrote:
Proving that:

a) the initial risk assessment on the battery was deeply flawed
b) the heavy venting system implemented does work.

I wonder how may other failures there have been.


Sounds like the venting system worked as designed?


Yes, but the venting system was introduced after the grounding of the world wide 787 fleet in 2013. So the original battery design was flawed as it could have resulted in catastrophic events.
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Revelation
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:15 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
StTim wrote:
Proving that:

a) the initial risk assessment on the battery was deeply flawed
b) the heavy venting system implemented does work.

I wonder how may other failures there have been.


Sounds like the venting system worked as designed?


Yes, but the venting system was introduced after the grounding of the world wide 787 fleet in 2013. So the original battery design was flawed as it could have resulted in catastrophic events.

And.. that's not news. As you say it's been known since 2013.

What is news is that we have a new data point showing that the containment system works.

People should not be shocked by another exploding battery. If that could be ruled out, there would be no need for the containment system. Since there is a containment system (both on 787 and A350) we know the chances that another battery might explode were sufficiently high to require the containment systems.
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:24 pm

Revelation wrote:
And.. that's not news. As you say it's been known since 2013.


I was just answering the question.

What is news is that we have a new data point showing that the containment system works.


Indeed, as I wrote earlier.

People should not be shocked by another exploding battery. If that could be ruled out, there would be no need for the containment system. Since there is a containment system (both on 787 and A350) we know the chances that another battery might explode were sufficiently high to require the containment systems.


Indeed, as I wrote earlier.
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WIederling
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:30 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
May I remind you 787 program didn't follow traditional outsourcing model. Courtesy of the epic failure "risk-sharing partners" model combined with sloppy contracts Boeing signed, Boeing underwrote all the risk, so-called "risk-sharing partners" did all the mistakes and walked away with impunity.

Wrap six off-the-shelf cells, plastic spacers, and a charger, voila 787 battery system was born.

100s of Boeing engineers worked on the workaround, because they don't know what is going on with the cell.


That is the regular penalty for not doing your home work early on. See "The Mythical Man Month" must read foundational work.

ROFL :: "poor beasty Boeing can do no wrong gets all the blame". This attitude still around ?

Afaik Boeing had to sign off on some risks because they wanted things done that way ( or could not make up their mind which way ..
and some suppliers must have told them :: not workable :: too ). next step was bamboozling the FAA to nod it off too.

The batteries definitely were a case in point.
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Revelation
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Re: Lithium-ion battery fails on UA 787 flight

Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:32 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Revelation wrote:
And.. that's not news. As you say it's been known since 2013.

I was just answering the question.

What is news is that we have a new data point showing that the containment system works.

Indeed, as I wrote earlier.

People should not be shocked by another exploding battery. If that could be ruled out, there would be no need for the containment system. Since there is a containment system (both on 787 and A350) we know the chances that another battery might explode were sufficiently high to require the containment systems.

Indeed, as I wrote earlier.

Glad that we are in agreement. I know it's odd to say exploding batteries are expected events, but it's true.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
It is a deadly cancer on American society
Those who believe otherwise are consumed by an ideology
That is impervious to evidence
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