warreng24
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787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:09 am

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]
 
Markhkg
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:20 am

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!
 
ikramerica
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:28 am

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.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:31 am

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.
 
Ken777
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:57 am

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.
 
warreng24
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:04 pm

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.
 
JayinKitsap
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:06 pm

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.
 
N231YE
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:13 pm

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 
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:18 pm

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
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ikramerica
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:11 pm

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.
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:43 pm

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!
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:48 pm

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!
 
remcor
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:54 pm

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.
 
ikramerica
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:14 pm

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.
 
remcor
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:17 pm

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]
 
53Sqdn
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:49 pm

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 
 
bringiton
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:59 pm

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 !!
 
Alessandro
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:02 pm

Water is pretty useless in this case, but what about nitro-gas to suffocate the fire?
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warreng24
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:10 pm

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.
 
kanebear
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:43 am

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?
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:14 am

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

Haha....thats funny
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Morvious
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:07 am

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
 
ikramerica
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:17 am

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.
 
Alessandro
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:42 am

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?
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:57 am

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
 
N231YE
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:17 am

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 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 it "dumped its power faster," the flip-side is that repeated partial discharging would lead to partial energy storage.

Its too bad that the evolving super-capacitor technology being developed for hybrid cars hasn't made its way into aviation, its light weight, low costs, and high energy density make it attractive-however, at this point capacitors are only good for short-term energy storage.
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:11 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 22):
Dl757md, are you a MX guy? If so, I stand corrected

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 AMM before I posted it.

DL757Md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:41 am

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's own individual battery pack that can't be charged on the aircraft and therefor must be changed out when depleted (No wires=no ability to recharge). Now the issues that this presents are numerous. Consider that the emergency light are required to be operationally tested at every layover check (approx once a week). Currently when you do this the batteries ,which must provide 30 mins of power and each battery powers several lights, recharge from the aircraft electrical system. It takes as much as 16 hours to fully charge a fully discharged battery. So how do you determine the charge state of the battery on the new system? Is there a charge indicator? How many lights and therefor batteries are in the system? Do they need to be changed out to be recharged? How will they be operationally tested? What impact does testing have on the charge level of the battery? Lots of questions. Anybody have any answers?

DL757Md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
Morvious
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 27):
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?

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, there is no way you can take the risk of a gass system. Plus, when using the gass, you need to have a room that you can make air tight completly or a small room that you overkill with the gass.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):
Save the computers, at all costs.

Not really. Most of the times these sort of rooms are empty. People use remote desktops to control the systems in it. Just a few times someone will be in such room just to add or replace the hardware. But when you are in it, and the lights and bells go off, you better hurry to the outside.

We had it once at a company that had such a room installed. The installer of the system was testing the stuff, but forgot to set it in test mode. Within a second the room was full of foam. Good for us they replaces the wrong bottles, so instead of gass it was foam. All the equipment had to be replaced though!
have a good day, Stefan van Hierden
 
Thrust
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:33 am

Sounds like Airbus is getting desperate LOL
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
Markhkg
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:33 am

Quoting Morvious (Reply 25):
ts 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.



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 27):
Morv, but if a fire starts do you hang around there or get out ASAP?

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 agent discharge. Usually, what will happen after a fire/smoke has been detected, a "agent discharge" warning alarm will sound, in addition to the fire alarm. Occupants will have a set time (usually around 2 minutes) to immediately vacate the area before the agent is discharged.

There have been cases where such warning systems have failed, and people have been killed by, for instance, carbon dioxide fire supression systems. (In the case I remember, the fire system was under maintence, so the warning alarm and safety delay was bypassed.)

Actually, aviation related, I remembered reading about a plane accident, where back in the day they used carbon dioxide as the extinguishing agent...before they had halon...a fire broken out, they discharged the agent, but as they made the descent everyone was smothered and the plane crashed. Here it is...

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19480617-0&lang=en
Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
 
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N328KF
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting Morvious (Reply 33):
We had it once at a company that had such a room installed. The installer of the system was testing the stuff, but forgot to set it in test mode. Within a second the room was full of foam. Good for us they replaces the wrong bottles, so instead of gass it was foam. All the equipment had to be replaced though!

You can't use halon in Montreal Protocol signatories. I would bet that your country is one.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
kanebear
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:53 pm

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.



Quoting N328KF (Reply 36):
You can't use halon in Montreal Protocol signatories. I would bet that your country is one.

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. No mandate exists for decommissioning the systems. I'm sure someone, somewhere, is still making it.
 
N231YE
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:10 am

Quoting Dl757md (Reply 31):
Does anyone have more specific info on what exactly Boeing means by a wireless emergency lighting system?

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 lights), have been replaced by phosphorescent strips that "glow in the dark:" strips that absorb light then emit it in low light. I guess the major benefit to this system is that there is no bulbs to replace, and maintenance is much easier.
 
dl757md
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RE: 787 Supplier's Building Catches Fire

Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting N231YE (Reply 33):
but the emergency aisle lighting that was once used, miniature bulbs and wiring (like Christmas tree lights), have been replaced by phosphorescent strips that "glow in the dark:" strips that absorb light then emit it in low light. I guess the major benefit to this system is that there is no bulbs to replace, and maintenance is much easier.

It also has no batteries. So this is not the system that Boeing is going with in the 787.

DL757Md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!

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