Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
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wesnewell   100 GW

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by wesnewell » Jan 22 2013 5:34pm

I read somewhere from links in this thread that they had it set for 580A peak. Now they only had 65ah of 5C batteries. unless I'm crazy that only has a max of 325A. Something doesn't add up. I know it takes a lot of power to turn over jet engines using electric motors. So if the info I found was correct, then they probably started thermal runaway when they cranked an engine drawing too many amps. A little time later, boom.
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Kingfish » Jan 22 2013 5:57pm

Boeing's battery woes could short-circuit e-cars
<snip>

Several investigations continue into fires involving lithium-ion batteries involved in automotive applications. That includes a fire that destroyed a Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid parked in a Texas garage last year, and another involving Fiskers that were caught in flood waters during Superstorm Sandy last autumn. Several other battery based vehicles also caught fire in a storage lot at a port outside Newark, New Jersey, and it appears salt water short-circuited their electric systems.

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid also became a target of investigators in 2011 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed a battery pack caught fire weeks after a Volt was crash tested. A second battery later started smoking after it was tested.

Eventually, investigators concluded the Volt problem was largely the result of NHTSA’s testing procedures. Nonetheless, General Motors subsequently made significant changes to further reduce the likelihood of problems following a crash.

Separately, Fisker announced changes to its battery pack design following a fire linked to a cooling fan system. And the California-based start-up was forced to order a recall of early versions of the Karma when a manufacturing defect was discovered by battery supplier A123.

Fisker has struggled with sales significantly lagging initial expectations. Chevy, meanwhile, suffered a short-term decline in sales after the initial report of the fire at a NHTSA test center. Demand soon rebounded, however. Sales of the plug-in more than tripled last year compared to 2011 levels – but still came to barely half of GM’s initial 45,000 target for the U.S. market.

“No questions, these kinds of headlines (surrounding the Boeing batteries) are not going to help battery vehicle sales,” contends analyst Phillippi and others.

<snip>
Just thought this was an interesting take and comparison with the auto industry.

Curious how they (Boeing) will get back into the air, KF
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by bigmoose » Jan 22 2013 8:06pm

Kingfish wrote: Curious how they (Boeing) will get back into the air, KF
With money. Lots and lots of $'s. Safety critical system with 80 delivered and 320 in the pipeline... Either a quick discovery phase of root cause and fix; or depending how hard the reputation is being hit, perhaps a complete change in the subsystem design and vendor.
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by LSBW » Jan 22 2013 9:54pm

WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Tucson, Arizona-based Securaplane Technologies Inc, which makes a charger for batteries used on the Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner, said on Sunday it would support an investigation into battery issues that have grounded the new planes.

Securaplane, a unit of Britain's Meggitt Plc, first began working on the charger in 2004, but suffered millions of dollars of damages in November 2006 after a lithium-ion battery used in testing exploded and sparked a fire that burned an administrative building to the ground.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire on the 787 at the Boston airport this month.

Must have been some fire :)

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by SamTexas » Jan 22 2013 10:00pm

Boeing stock is doing well under the circumstances. So at least investors don't believe it's a serious problem.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Hillhater » Jan 22 2013 11:06pm

They (Boeing) may well be happy about the media focus on these battery problems.
Most readers will simply think "Its only a battery" and assume it will be swapped out for a pile of Energizers or similar.
Meanwhile, all the other more serious problems with the 787, are not making the headlines and hence not hitting the share value !
After all,...It is only a battery pack that could be replaced by something less exotic if necessary .
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by flathill » Jan 24 2013 11:09pm

Let me design a battery where I assume zero cell defects
And have no shock mount
Just place the battery in a steel case
Image
http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013 ... -24-13.pdf

They need to get quallion or telsa working on a pack now designed to not propogate failure
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2011power/Sess ... kamoto.pdf

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by neptronix » Jan 24 2013 11:55pm

Internal short circuit - that's a cell construction problem, ya?
Same shit that happens with our low quality RC Lipo packs..

Lithium battery construction seems far away from being an exact science.
Still seems like an awful idea to use lithium cobalt for this job.
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Hillhater » Jan 25 2013 2:58am

Difficult to tell weather its was cause or result, but the CT scan of the pack suggests that 6 of the 8 modules were very "puffed" and 2 seemed fairly normal.
If it were an internal short failure, why were the cells still fully charged ( 32v) after the "event" ??
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by dnmun » Jan 25 2013 3:06am

puffers don't lose their voltage.

i noticed that the CT scans showed that some of the elctrodes had separated from the end terminations in that #6 they showed. if the electrodes were isolated so that only a small amount of the expected surface area is now capable of moving ions into solution then maybe there was local over heating or maybe the SEI breakdown problem could be initiated more rapidly.

i bet they end up qualifying a new supplier of these batteries. i think Yuasa is in a ton of trouble. this could bankrupt them depending on what kinda insurance they carry. unless they can show that the BMS just fails to perform, but you gotta figure this something that has been bench tested in all kinda perturbations.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by flathill » Jan 25 2013 5:35am

Rats nest wiring to the bms with wires running over zip ties
Cousin was a wrc mechanic
Instantly fired if you dont flush cut a zip tie
He was like whatever yeah right
Until the driver took him at 160 on a mountain road at 160 with no rail and a mile drop
Then he realised the drivers put their lives in the engineer and mechanic s hands
When you outsource you lose that connection
Like kill drones piloted remotely
The sharp edge will chafe
They dont even trust zip tie guns
Hand done with a razor only
You think thames had the same attention to detail
Besides all that
Even the placement of the battery is retarded
They got really lucky the fire didnt spread to the control systems above
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by bigmoose » Jan 25 2013 8:38am

A little more on the Secureaplane fire in their labs 6 years ago... just shows how long this type of hardware is in development.
Securaplane, an Arizona company that won a contract to design a battery charger unit for the Boeing 787, had a fire in November 2006 that ignited when the battery used by an engineering technician exploded during testing, destroying the firm's labs and production building, according to a summary of findings prepared by an administrative law judge who heard a whistleblower complaint filed by the technician. The technician went to court after he was fired.

Michael Leon, the technician, said he complained to his employer that the battery was damaged and unsafe and that there were discrepancies between the schematics and assembly documents used in building the battery charger. Administrative Law Judge William Dorsey, who heard Leon's complaint at trial, said in his ruling that one possible cause of the fire was Leon's misuse of the battery during testing.


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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by etriker » Jan 25 2013 10:17am

dnmun wrote:puffers don't lose their voltage.

i noticed that the CT scans showed that some of the elctrodes had separated from the end terminations in that #6 they showed. if the electrodes were isolated so that only a small amount of the expected surface area is now capable of moving ions into solution then maybe there was local over heating or maybe the SEI breakdown problem could be initiated more rapidly.

i bet they end up qualifying a new supplier of these batteries. i think Yuasa is in a ton of trouble. this could bankrupt them depending on what kinda insurance they carry. unless they can show that the BMS just fails to perform, but you gotta figure this something that has been bench tested in all kinda perturbations.
Depends of why they puffed ?

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/re ... hazard.pdf

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by flathill » Jan 25 2013 1:13pm

the simple fact the securaplane building burned down means they were ill equipped to do any sort of testing
testing should! result in fire
the goal should be to learn from destruction
basics of power testing

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Kingfish » Jan 25 2013 1:28pm

flathill wrote:the simple fact the securaplane building burned down means they were ill equipped to do any sort of testing
testing should! result in fire
the goal should be to learn from destruction
basics of power testing
I'd have to agree with that: Test devices until they break so you can create a prediction model. On top of that – the event in question was 6 years ago, so how relevant is it to today? A LOT can change in 6 years.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by dnmun » Jan 25 2013 1:35pm

not relevant. Thales was the contractor. not Securaplane.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Hillhater » Jan 25 2013 7:52pm

dnmun wrote:puffers don't lose their voltage..
Agreed, but if a internal short caused this thermal event then..
a) some power must have been discharged to create that event ...but the "pack" was reported as still being fully charged at 32 volts.
That might suggest the internal damage was a result of some other problem, rather than the cause of the "event"
b) .. If that one cell had shorted, then the 32 volt pack voltage would be from only 7 cells...implying an individual cell voltage of 4.57 volts !
c) the above would suggest a overcharge scenario ?
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by dnmun » Jan 25 2013 9:38pm

from the looks of the CT scans, these are not puffed up like we would see in a pouch type cell. even though they have vents, it appears that the electrode/separator has expanded from the heat of the incident. not from the kinda chemical or over discharge effects we see in the lipo and lifepo4 that people use here.

i really think there is something significant in the cell #6. the electrodes are wrapped around each other, and connected on the ends to the terminal. the break between the electrode and the terminations is significant imo if it causes the current density in the remaining connected electrodes to be significantly higher than might have been accounted for. this may be what led to the local overheating that precipitated the breaking up and scaling off of the SEI layer on the surface of the anode such as occurs when overcharge leads to thermal runaway. this may be why the BMS did not block the current flows if it assumed there was enuff electrode surface to absorb the charge.

this is all just conjecture, it is gonna take alotta extensive experiments to nail this down. the press has already labeled this as a fire hazard so boeing may have a hard time selling the plane now. they have bet the future of the company on this plane, so this could bankrupt boeing and all its suppliers if the plane is not allowed to fly for the 3-4 years the guvment may take to certify it.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Hillhater » Jan 28 2013 5:10pm

It seems the focus has shifted away from the cells to the BMS ..
http://news.yahoo.com/boeing-787-probe- ... cAsAnQtDMD
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by davec » Jan 28 2013 5:20pm

should be interesting to see what they find. i still think they should replace the cells with either limn or lifepo4 -- even with a faulty bms the risk is low.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by LSBW » Jan 28 2013 9:04pm

Thx to Boeing and their half-assed plane, we can say goodbye to fast shipping of Li-ion batteries on the planes altogether.

http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/19/briti ... 787-fires/

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by Arlo1 » Jan 28 2013 9:34pm

LSBW wrote:Thx to Boeing and their half-assed plane, we can say goodbye to fast shipping of Li-ion batteries on the planes altogether.

http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/19/briti ... 787-fires/
It was realy only a matter of time. We can't think of safe ways to deal with shipping them because thats scary so just ban them, I give north america 10 years to ban everything.
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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by dnmun » Jan 28 2013 9:49pm

Hillhater wrote:It seems the focus has shifted away from the cells to the BMS ..
http://news.yahoo.com/boeing-787-probe- ... cAsAnQtDMD
that previous pdf link was well worth reading. i recommend it to anyone reading this thread if they did not read it already. they even discuss why puffing occurs without the heat and excess charge rate along with temperature, if the aluminum in the mylar envelope of the pouch cells is exposed, by the polyethylene lining being mechanically cut or abraded to expose the aluminum then the electrolyte reacts with the aluminum to produce gasses. even at lower state of charge it appears.

this explains why the pouches on the ends of the ping packs would be the ones that puffed up most. but sometimes they are in the middle too, and in this pdf they discuss how mechanical damage of lipo pouches, during assembly, could make them more vulnerable later to thermal runaway.

there is a list of fires, some caused by ebike batteries. one big lifepo4 pack ended up in hawaii having shorted out somewhere between the east coast and hawaii. alotta air time to burn up in, but it had not caused damage to the cardboard box or the packaging around it. it just shorted 'externally' which would be from the B+lead to some part of the battery, from mechanical damage. most probably the negative lead, P- on the BMS. so maybe by turning off the BMS in flight would meet the safety rules.

i recommend, since i use USPS, that the battery be discharged as low as possible before shipping, and the BMS disconnected along with taping up the bare ends of cables. but i think disabling the BMS by turning off the circuit current or unplugging the sense wire plug is safest.

i also wondered why they could not have some big air vent that opens directly to the exterior of the plane on this battery box. if it overheats just exhaust so much air through the box it would carry the heat away and then have water sprayer inside the box to cool it along with the air flow to suck all the moisture out of the electrical bay there.
Last edited by dnmun on Jan 28 2013 11:10pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by mushymelon » Jan 28 2013 10:44pm

My lipos arrived a couple of weeks ago. One of the packs had two balance wires removed from the jst connector, the ground and cell 1. The metal ends were exposed and just rolling around in there. Not good!

Chinese battery manufacturers will put themselves out of business if they don't improve quality control. More fires more bans!

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Re: Boeing Dreamliner Battery Fire

Post by fechter » Jan 29 2013 12:54am

Hillhater wrote:It seems the focus has shifted away from the cells to the BMS ..
http://news.yahoo.com/boeing-787-probe- ... cAsAnQtDMD
French BMS. What did I tell you. They should have used one of mine.

:idea: maybe it's a good time to sell them a new design.
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