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Comment of the Day

January 18 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day

On the 787 Dreamliner's Lithium Batteries
"Re: 787 Lithium Batteries
FullerMoney always brings up a wide range of subjects of great interest. Our company uses large amounts of rechargeable batteries, and we have shied away from lithium for high power use, as is the case on the 787 which uses electric actuators to replace many hydraulic ones. The failure of just one cell in a battery pack, in which there are many, can heat up and set off a reaction of nearby cells to cause a nasty fire. I will guess that the vibrations in an airplane over time coupled with perhaps a small defect in a cell may well turn out to be the cause of Boeing's electrical fires. I still vividly remember my 9th grade science teacher holding a sealed glass vial with a grain of pure lithium inside, over a beaker of water. He then broke the vile and dropped the lithium grain into the water, causing a violent reaction with the water which boiled out over the beaker. I won't be riding in a 787 for a while, and I'm a Boeing lover."

David Fuller's view Thank you so much for this informative email. One of the great perks in producing this service comes from the insights forwarded by our knowledgeable subscribers.

Boeing has backed cutting-edge technology in building this plane. This was a bold move but not without some risks.

If you are interested in this subject, here are some related articles on lithium batteries: How Lithium-ion Batteries Work - Battery University: Is Lithium-ion the Ideal Battery? - BBC News:Dreamliner's lithium ion batteries probed - Mail Online: Boeing's flagship 787.

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