Boeing Execs Detail 787 Dreamliner Battery Changes, Host Q&A Session

Boeing says it has a fix for the battery problems that grounded its new 787 Dreamliner, and tonight executives are answering questions concerning the fixes. A Q&A live streamed on Boeing’s webpage features president and CEO Ray Conner and VP / Chief Product Engineer Mike Sinnett speaking about why they believe the airplane is safe to fly. Based on Sinnett, the design of the battery has been changed, an enclosure was added and the charger has had its most charging levels decreased. For his part, CEO Conner plans « to fly on the very first flight. » Hit the link for the ongoing stream, and see if their explanations fulfill any doubts you might have, or check out a detailed checklist of the modifications after the break.

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Boeing Provides Details on 787 Battery Improvements

EVERETT, Wash., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) introduced as we speak that a complete set of enhancements that can add a number of layers of additional security features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 industrial jetliners are in production and may very well be ready for initial set up within the subsequent few weeks. New enclosures for 787 batteries additionally are being built. Will be installed in airplanes within the weeks ahead.

These enhancements, which proceed to bear intensive certification testing, will permit operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as quickly as testing is full and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Other international regulators grant their final approval.

The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure.

« As soon as our testing is full and we receive regulatory approvals, we will likely be positioned to assist our customers implement these adjustments and start the strategy of getting their 787s back within the air, » stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. « Passengers may be assured that now we have accomplished a thorough evaluation of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system. » Battery system changes include adjustments to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.

Earlier this week the FAA accredited Boeing’s certification plan, titanium forging which lays out the discrete testing to be executed to show that the battery enhancements deal with the situations laid out within the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 industrial operations.

Development Team Created Solution

The enhancements to the battery system handle causal components identified by the Boeing technical workforce as doable causes of battery failure. The technical team’s findings also had been verified by an impartial group of lithium-ion battery consultants from quite a few industries, universities and nationwide laboratories.

« We’ve come up with a comprehensive set of solutions that end in a safer battery system, » mentioned Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief venture engineer, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. « We have now discovered a quantity of the way to enhance the battery system and we do not let safety improvements go once they are recognized. We incorporate them into our processes and products. »

Enhanced Production Controls and Operating Processes

The first layer of enhancements is going down through the manufacture of the batteries in Japan. Boeing teamed with Thales, the supplier of the built-in power conversion system, and battery maker GS Yuasa to develop and institute enhanced production requirements and assessments to further reduce any chance for variation in the manufacturing of the person cells in addition to the overall battery.

« We’ve all developed a better understanding of the sensitivities of this expertise to variations through the manufacturing process, » mentioned Sinnett. « And we all feel the necessity to extend monitoring of this course of on an ongoing basis. »

Four new or revised exams have been added to display screen cell manufacturing, which now consists of 10 distinct assessments. Each cell will go through extra rigorous testing within the month following its manufacture including a 14-day take a look at during which readings of discharge charges are being taken every hour. This new procedure started in early February. The primary cells by means of the process are already full. There are greater than a dozen manufacturing acceptance checks that should be completed for every battery.

Boeing, Thales and GS Yuasa have additionally decided to slender the acceptable stage of cost for the battery, both by lowering the highest charge allowed and raising the decrease degree allowed for discharge. Two items of gear in the battery system – the battery monitoring unit. The charger are being redesigned to the narrower definition. The battery charger will also be tailored to soften the charging cycle to put much less stress on the battery throughout charging. Changes inside the battery will help to scale back the possibilities of a battery fault creating. Help to further isolate any fault that does happen in order that it won’t cause issues with different elements of the battery.

To better insulate every of the cells in the battery from each other and from the battery box, two sorts of insulation might be added. An electrical insulator is being wrapped around each battery cell to electrically isolate cells from each other and from the battery case, even within the occasion of a failure. Electrical and thermal insulation put in above, below and between the cells will help keep the heat of the cells from impacting each other.

Wire sleeving and the wiring contained in the battery shall be upgraded to be more resistant to heat and chafing and titanium rod tube new fasteners will attach the metallic bars that connect the eight cells of the battery. These fasteners include a locking mechanism.

Finally, a set of modifications is being made to the battery case that incorporates the battery cells and the battery administration unit. Small holes at the underside will permit moisture to drain away from the battery. Larger holes on the sides will enable a failed battery to vent with less affect to different parts of the battery.

New Battery Enclosure

The battery case will sit in a new enclosure product of stainless steel. This enclosure will isolate the battery from the remainder of the gear within the digital gear bays. It also will guarantee there could be no hearth inside the enclosure, thus including another layer of safety to the battery system. The enclosure features a direct vent to carry battery vapors outside the airplane.

New titanium fixtures are being put in in the electronics gear bays to ensure the housing is correctly supported.

« Our first traces of enhancements, the manufacturing checks and operations improvements, significantly scale back the likelihood of a battery failure. The second line of enhancements, adjustments to the battery, helps stop an occasion and decrease the impact of a failure throughout the battery if it does happen. And the third line of enhancements, the addition of the brand new enclosure, isolates the battery in order that even if all the cells vent, there is no such thing as a fire in the enclosure and there is no significant influence to the airplane, » said Sinnett.

Testing Status

Testing to achieve FAA approval of the battery enhancements has already started, with the FAA’s permission.

During engineering testing, which occurs prior to certification testing, the crew demonstrated that the brand new housing might safely include a battery failure that included the failure of all eight cells throughout the battery. The « ultimate » load is the equivalent of 1.5 occasions the maximum force ever anticipated to be encountered during a battery failure. The housing simply withstood this strain. Didn’t fail till the pressure was more than three times the last word load.

Through one other take a look at, the workforce demonstrated that fireplace can’t happen within the new enclosure. Its design eliminates oxygen, making the containment unit self-inerting. Inerting is a step above fire detection. Extinguishing because it prevents a fireplace from ever occurring. If you have any kind of questions regarding where and ways to utilize Titanium BarHttps://Unsplash.Com/,, you can call us at the webpage. The design additionally vents all vapors by venting directly outdoors of the airplane relatively than into the equipment bay.

« We put this new design by way of a rigorous set of tests. We tried to find a way to introduce a hearth in the containment but it surely just would not occur. Even when we introduced a flammable fuel within the presence of an ignition supply, the absence of oxygen meant there was no fireplace.

« We drew from the new trade customary, DO311, established by RTCA, to ascertain our testing plan, » said Sinnett. « These standards weren’t out there once we set the testing plan for the baseline battery and they helped us ensure the brand new design is sturdy and safe. We intend to point out, throughout certification, that the 787 battery meets all aims of DO-311 and only deviates from particular requirements where the 787-unique gadgets are usually not lined by the standards. » RTCA is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a federal advisory committee in establishing guidelines for the aviation industry. We’re following all of the necessary protocols to get our new design totally accredited. Properly installed so that we can help our customers start flying as soon as attainable. We’re concurrently shifting out on an effort to resume deliveries but finishing our certification work and getting the delivered fleet flying once more is our first precedence, » mentioned Conner. « Our clients and their passengers have been incredibly patient as we’ve got worked through this process and we thank them very sincerely for their continued support and confidence in the 787.

« The extra-electric architecture of the 787 brings real worth not just to the airways but to our trade. By reducing fuel use, we are reducing our environmental footprint. This battery expertise is a vital a part of the extra-electric structure, which helps us to cut fuel use by greater than 10 billion gallons of gas over the life of this program.

« New applied sciences require further attention and exhausting work, however the advantages are actual. »

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