Report: Cold May Have Caused One 787 Battery Incident

 - August 5, 2014, 12:04 PM

The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) has concluded in a draft report that extreme cold most likely caused a lithium-ion battery on an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 to malfunction in January 2013, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. The board plans to release a final report in September or later.

The ANA 787 was flying from Yamaguchi-Ube Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport when cockpit instrumentation indicated a battery malfunction and pilots made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport. The incident on January 16, 2013, was the last in a series of battery events that led the U.S., Japan and other aviation authorities to ground the 787 for some three months until they approved a battery-system modification.

Citing aviation sources, the newspaper said liquid electrolytes in the lithium-ion batteries were found to deteriorate at lower temperatures, resulting in reduced conductivity. Extreme coldness can also cause “lithium plating,” in which the metallic lithium dissolved in the battery’s electrolyte is deposited on the surface of electrodes and can lead to a short circuit.

In its final report, the JTSB “plans to conclude that the ‘smoking was not the result of a singular stimulant, but a combination of multiple causes,’” The Asahi Shimbun said on August 5.


The result of this report could potentially be the FAA and EASA issueing an air worthiness directive for the 787 due to the possibility of this issue occurring. Should this happen, there probably would be a lot of flight disruptions around the globe, specifically on airlines that heavily utilize the 787.

Ironically, lead-acid batteries are rated on their starting capability at 0deg.F.............

They will only freeze when discharged  below any useful output at all, so they are only  useless but not dangerous under these conditions.................. 

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