B787 batteries failed more than 100 times: Boeing says

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by jbcarioca, Jan 30, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Should have picked Energizer batteries. ;)

    100 battery swaps for a fleet of 50 seems very high.
     
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  3. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    Is it 10 or 100 times? The article uses both numbers in what I am interpreting to be the same context.

     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    ANA 10 failures, overall across all airlines 100?
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    As I read this, and another few reports it seems clear. ANA had ten failures, of which three included the charging units.
    Boeing reported ~100 battery failures across all aircraft over all time. Thus batteries replaced during storage (the ANA airplane was produced in 2009, delivered in 2012, for example) would be included as were batteries tested and failed but never installed in an airplane. This is a news report so I'm leery, but I see no other logical explanation.
     
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  6. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    OK, so I had a minute and was able to find the Seattle Times report that is referenced in the Bloomberg report. It was easy enough, considering it was on their front page. :oops:

    The Seattle Times article definitely says >100 total failures of the battery. That's the number of packs/cells that Boeing has sent back to the Japanese manufacturer. It sounds like most of the failures were because the low voltage cutout was activated, indicating that the battery was discharged too far, rendering it less capable of recharging. That's a pretty typical problem with Li-ion cells. Lots of laptop, cell phone, car, etc. manufacturers have run into that problem as well. The battery controller and the recharge unit will have to be adjusted to better prevent that from happening. It is also possible that there is a manufacturing quality issue with the chemical cell itself. Li-ion is a semi-mature battery technolgy, so there shouldn't really be a problem with the chemical "design" per se. It's mostly controlling the cells where companies are having problems.

    I should also note that Boeing is giving a completely plausible story about the >100 "failures", which is that almost all of them are completely routine and fully-expected change-outs due to basic issues like shelf life and usage parameters. Li-ion cells don't do well when they're charged or discharged to extremes. They have longer lives and maintain their internal structure better when they are operated in the middle third or maybe even two-thirds of their capacity. Most large battery packs are intentionally run in that range, even though that means using a larger pack than is theoretically necessary.
     
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