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Airbus, FAA Spar Over Lithium Batteries - WSJ July 27, 2016

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Airbus, FAA Spar Over Lithium Batteries - WSJ July 27, 2016

Old 29th Jul 2016, 08:02
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Because battery was never tested with multiple cells.
How on earth did it get certified then?

Maybe time for Tesla to supply the batteries from the first of their new "GigaFactories".....
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 11:23
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How on earth did it get certified then?
Certification process allowed certified individual cells in any configuration, at least until NTSB said you got to be kidding.

Maybe time for Tesla to supply the batteries from the first of their new "GigaFactories".....
Perhaps Boeing will consider the newer battery chemistry Saft uses for their next endeavour.
It is not about factories, it is about battery test labs. Each automotive manufacturer invested close to $100 Million in battery test labs continuously adjusting chemical composition and testing with different charge/draw and other conditions.

I am not saying Yuasa don't have similar lab, but I doubt anyone tested batteries like Tesla for B787.

Of course I also buy 12v battery for solar system at Harbor Freight with 20%-25% coupon and put it in a empty bucket, just in case it leaks.
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 15:32
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What I find amazing is just how such a simple concept and implementation can be so messed up (787 wise), hell, we are taking a piss-ant capacity battery(s) ie. some 75AH @ 32V each compared to a Tesla car battery that's some 230Ah @ 400V, they also experience a far higher charge/discharge rate (supercharger use and 'ludicrous' mode), yet they manage not to catch fire or need to be in a stainless steel box, they also work out lighter per KWh stored.

Nothing wrong with using Lithium-ion, just like everything else, design it right in the first place.
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 16:13
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Corrective action without establishing root cause. Which troubleshooting standard is this.
as troubleshooting it happens quite a bit.

It's a matter of economics once reasonable safety has been met.

In the long run the engineers expect to understand the root cause and either fix it or replace with a different design. In the interim one must do something to reduce the risk to the passenger etc. to a level commensurate with all other historical risks (hidden or known problems).

Hats off to Airbus if they understand the Boeing design well enough to have address root cause and thus certified as such. On the other hand maybe they have addressed the risk (against a similar failure condition) with some unique method.

Just because the FAA doesn't understand is not reason to withold a certificate but we as the public certainly are not privy to enough information to comment, except via something like a "Special Condition" published in our Federal Register.
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 18:52
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Scuffers, at least two Tesla's have caught fire and burned due to battery failures in service. As vapilot said, never say never.
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 22:34
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Tesla fires

Originally Posted by tdracer
Scuffers, at least two Tesla's have caught fire and burned due to battery failures in service. As vapilot said, never say never.
AFAIK, both of these were caused by massive mechanical damage to the battery packs. Apparently, Tesla goes to great lengths to precisely control environment and demands for every single cell.

Also, I don't know the 787 battery packs, but Tesla's pack is made up of a really large number of rather small battery cells (type 18650, AFAIK). Every one of those has its own controller that makes sure the cell doesn't exceed the design limits, in addition to the global controller that monitors the whole pack.

I wonder how the cells in the 787 are handled...

And yes, the Tesla pack also comes with armor plate, but mostly to avoid damage to the pack...
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 22:43
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AFAIK, both of these were caused by massive mechanical damage to the battery packs. Apparently, Tesla goes to great lengths to precisely control environment and demands for every single cell.
Nope, not 'massive' damage, road debris.
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 23:14
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Originally Posted by RealUlli
I wonder how the cells in the 787 are handled...
I believe 6-8 large cells. Musk had a white paper on disadvantages of having small number of large cells.

Originally Posted by tdracer
Nope, not 'massive' damage, road debris.
Sure, because it is a earth hugging high performance automobile. But there was no FOD involved with B787 batteries. They are just ready to runway like a troubled teenager.
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Old 30th Jul 2016, 21:12
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Debris

Originally Posted by tdracer
Nope, not 'massive' damage, road debris.
Well, one of the pieces of road debris was a tow hitch, IMHO large enough to cause trouble for any car and the other case of the car burning was (AFAIK) after a severe crash.

(Googling revealed there was another fire, but I couldn't find any specifics about the kind of debris, however they also said it pierced the steel plate)

Anyway - each of the pieces were large and hard enough to pierce the armor of the battery pack - at that time a heavy steel plate, replaced in later models by a titanium plate.

None of that happened to the batteries in the 787s.
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 15:38
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So back on topic, the FAA are happy with the fire-prone 787 battery to have a botched repair, but unhappy with the 350 battery that has not had the same issues? Typical US hypocrisy and protectionism.
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 16:56
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"GS Yuasa self-certified the battery"

Those battery cells have been used without problems in numerous applications. It was the battery charger, or more accurately the overall battery system (which now includes a steel box) which failed.
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 19:06
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Perfect, I guess there were no red flags when the charger took the building down in 2006.

Boeing
UTC
Thales
Securaplane (Meggit PLC)
GM Yuasa

Am I missing anybody.
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 20:26
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So back on topic, the FAA are happy with the fire-prone 787 battery to have a botched repair, but unhappy with the 350 battery that has not had the same issues?
The FAA issue is that Airbus is proposing the same method of certification as was used for the 787 - wouldn't that give you pause given what we now know about the 787 battery? And what part of the 787 repair is "botched"?
Typical US hypocrisy and protectionism.
Dealt with EASA much? I have...
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 21:34
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The only net result is going to be that the next plane Boeing makes will have certfication difficulties too. This called tit for tat and has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with non-tariff barriers. If it were safety that was really the issue, the guys and gals from Airbus, Boeing, EASA and FAA and NTSB and battery makers and other stakeholders would get together in an ISO setting for lunch, then go into a quiet room, put a word processor on a big screen and write the certification requirements together, and make the battery requirements that are safe in a passenger airplane an independent ISO standard. A standard sets a level playing field.
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Old 3rd Aug 2016, 00:08
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I don't think new type certification will be a problem for Boeing. Even with B787's worst design and build quality Boeing managed the PR aspect very well either by compensating heavily (eg., QR) or blaming customers (eg., AI) themselves.

There are at least four countries involved directly/indirectly involved with B787 battery. Airlines from those four countries are not going complain, if anybody else complains quote the four as example.

Good news, every new type(both A&B) is having quality issues. I think airlines will stop owning planes and pay only by the hour and let lessors deal with issues with manufacturers.

There is serious trust deficit.
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Old 3rd Aug 2016, 13:27
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i meant that if the current Airbus has certification issues in the US, the next Boeing will have certification difficulties in Europe - regardless of both companies' undoubtedly faultless attention to safety in matters of batteries.

On the other hand, all of this posturing may have the useful effect of attracting some public attention, as a result of which the regulatory agencies might actually start regulating in order to cover their asses.

Edmund
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Old 3rd Aug 2016, 13:45
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Originally Posted by tdracer
Scuffers, at least two Tesla's have caught fire and burned due to battery failures in service. As vapilot said, never say never.
not quite the same thing, they had both been breached physically by hard objects, they had not 'cooked' themselves, in a physical car accident, there are a whole host of possible issues, and for only two to have issues with several hundred thousand cars on the road, that's pretty good numbers (hell, petrol/diesel cars have been known to catch fire).

The point is that Tesla's installation and battery management has been designed and tested to death, Boeing relied on farming different parts of the job out to different companies, and that's always going to be a recipe for problems.

Airbus appear to have got the whole system done by one supplier, which should eliminate the finger pointing and miss-communication.
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Old 3rd Aug 2016, 16:56
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As I understand it, there were three Tesla fires, two of which were due to extensive mechanical rupture from crashes and one which I don't know about. Still that's a lot better than the number of 787 battery fires, especially when you look at how many Teslas there are compared to 787s.
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Old 4th Aug 2016, 11:29
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wasn't there a whistle-blower event over lack of quality control involving the battery charging system?
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Old 4th Aug 2016, 12:11
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It looks like it has not been posted here...
In their FAST magazine Airbus talks about "Taking lithium-ion technology to new heights" from page 32 on. Worth a read.
Looks like that battery is quite different from the one on the dreamliner.
In line with the discussions we had here some years ago, the did not only go to a different chemistry, but also to cylindical SAFT cells, which are much more robust than the rectangular YUASA cells, especially if you expose them to permanently changing air pressure.
Looks like the Airbus cast aluminum housing with venting does most of the tricks of the additional Boeing strong box already at battery level.

and

A350XWB Lithium Batteries A guide for fire fighters

Last edited by Volume; 4th Aug 2016 at 13:00.
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