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  • waynedickenson961 waynedickenson961 Jan 30, 2013 1:10 AM Flag

    At least 100 batteries failed on 787 fleet and earnings tomorrow , timing !

     

    At least 100 batteries failed on 787 fleet
    Boeing had numerous reliability issues with the main batteries on its 787 Dreamliner long before two serious incidents this month grounded the entire fleet, according to sources familiar with the issues.
    Boeing had numerous reliability issues with the main batteries on its 787 Dreamliner long before the two battery incidents this month grounded the entire fleet.
    More than 100 of the lithium-ion batteries have failed and had to be returned to the Japanese manufacturer, according to a person inside the 787 program with direct knowledge.
    “We have had at least 100, possibly approaching 150, bad batteries so far,” the person said. “It’s common.”
    The frequency of battery failures reflects issues with the design of the electrical system around the battery, said the person on the 787 program.
    Most of the batteries were returned because they had run down so far that a low-voltage cutout was activated.
    At that stage, the batteries, which cost about $16,000 each, are essentially dead and cannot be recharged.
    The failures likely occurred on planes flown by Boeing and on those delivered to its customers.
    For airline operators, such failures could be costly in terms of airplane downtime and inconvenience.
    These problems seem separate from the two more significant incidents, when a battery caught fire on the ground in Boston and another smoldered in midair in Japan, forcing an emergency landing.
    But the electrical system that monitors and controls the batteries is under scrutiny by the National Transportation Safety Board and other safety investigators as they probe the cause of the recent incidents.
    It is not just design problem, it is Boeing lacks vision, over self confidence, ignorant to “contract out” their responsibility to a third party in order to cut corner making more profit… in this case, losing their shirt. and still, none of the MD management team behind this debacle will ever be held seriously responsible. What a night mare for Boeing. It appears to be self iinflicted.

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    • If they ignored or hid the battery incidents, then I'll bet my bottom dollar the insurers won't pay Boeing.

      Sentiment: Strong Sell

    • McNerney said the earlier battery replacements were not made because of safety concerns.

      "There's been no incidents that we're aware of where a battery has been replaced for any sort of safety concerns," he said. "It's a replaceable unit designed to be replaced and a matter of routine maintenance."

      He said the replacement rate had been "slightly higher" than predicted.

    • you forgot the rest of the story..

      Because lithium-ion batteries can be dangerously volatile if undercharged, as well as when overcharged, an automatic cutoff is built into the 787 batteries so that if the charge falls below 15 percent of full, the battery locks.
      “It latches — locked out — and we cannot override that,” the person said.
      In that case, it can only be sent back to the manufacturer, GS Yuasa of Japan.

      The design of the 787’s electrical system includes a battery switch in the cockpit. But even when that main switch is off, the battery comes on when certain ground tasks are performed.
      Just as a car’s dome light will come on even when the ignition is off, drawing power from the battery, so too on an airplane certain maintenance tasks will bring the battery to life.
      For example, if an airline mechanic puts jet fuel in the wing gas tank when the airplane is otherwise dark, as soon as the fuel door opens the battery will begin to provide power for the gauges that measure the fuel level.
      If that door latch is not properly closed or if the mechanic encounters a problem or leaves something else open too long, the 787 battery can drain down below the critical 15 percent level in an hour, the person said.
      The 787 batteries are unique and the system supplier, Thales of France, insists that the original manufacturer — its subcontractor GS Yuasa — must be the sole supplier.
      So all the dead 787 batteries have been shipped back to Japan and replacements have had to be sent from there.

    • More than 100 of the lithium-ion batteries have failed and had to be returned to the Japanese manufacturer, according to a person inside the 787 program with direct knowledge.

      “We have had at least 100, possibly approaching 150, bad batteries so far,” the person said. “It’s common.”

    • Now, if one is going to report information, it helps if it is complete. From the Seattle Times ...

      The person on the 787 program with knowledge of the problems said that the electrical-system design makes it commonplace for airline mechanics to inadvertently run the lithium-ion batteries down too low.

      "Because lithium-ion batteries can be dangerously volatile if undercharged, as well as when overcharged, an automatic cutoff is built into the 787 batteries so that if the charge falls below 15 percent of full, the battery locks.

      “It latches — locked out — and we cannot override that,” the person said.

      So, while there seems to be a technical issue, there also seems to be a potential O&M ("human fault") issue.

    • See how a little disclosure and transparency can change the whole perception of the problem. Good grief passengers would be refusing to board, the FAA and NSTB would be asking questions. The battery problems were not reported but hid. The FAA would have been able to say right off that they know. The lies oh the lies, bet we haven't heard them all yet.

 
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