Saturday, August 9, 2014

The 787 Battery Will Get A Lease On Life

Researchers take major step towards longer battery life



A predominant  Stanford University Scientist, former Secretary of Energy for President Obama. Stands behind its research regarding a new Lithium Ion battery construct that should reach the market within five years. This success would make the 787 a complete solution for its all electrical theories and new aircraft technology. Five years isn't long to wait, after-all it took from 2007 to 2010, just to get the 787 to fly after it was initially assembled. 

Yi Cui, Stanford associate professor of materials science and engineering, along with other researchers at Stanford, announced a breakthrough that might triple battery life in cell phones. (Courtesy of Steve Castillo/USA Today)


Yi Cui, Stanford associate professor of materials science and engineering, along with other researchers at Stanford, announced a breakthrough that might triple battery life in cell phones.
(Courtesy of Steve Castillo/USA Today)

"The team of researchers working on the battery included Steven Chu, former Secretary of Energy and professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology, and Yi Cui, associate professor of material sciences and engineering."
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The top line title is the link for the science article. What it means is that Boeing in time will be out of the woods regarding its battery problems. The solution is not fixing the causal problem, but building a better Lithium-ion Battery with new advances on its stability for all applications such as power phones, computers, and the 787. There is a second group in Eastern United States who proposes a battery solution, which has tested stable in the lab using a certain stable Lithium-ion substrates for the battery cell which not erode or runaway. Both propositions are advancing and are extremely stable The above linking article has a carbon cap on the lithium-ion anode that does not allow battery runaway heating or fire. It keeps the battery stable under all condition, make the battery lighter and more powerful. Just what Boeing has ordered. A smaller more stable and more powerful battery. Only it will take five years to hit the aircraft application stage. I would assume Boeing would fly both old and new batteries on testing aircraft in a side by side comparison before installing a replacement on commercial aircraft. In time there will be a solution.

"In the paper, the authors explained that they are overcoming the problems posed by lithium – namely overheating, chemical reactions and buildup – by building a protective layer of interconnected carbon domes on top of their lithium anode."

"The team called this protective layer “the nanosphere,” and it resembles the shape of a honeycomb. This new layer creates a flexible, uniform and non-reactive film that protects the unstable lithium from the drawbacks that have made using it such a challenge."

The solution will enable the manufacture of more advanced 777's or 737's with all electric systems. Saving even more weight for each aircraft. Its not as simple as just getting the battery right and you are good to go. It means allowing installation of core technology, managing supported electrical systems. Not using the bleed air by-pass engine tasks for powering its systems. While those aircraft mentioned would benefit as being more like the 787. It would mean a reduction of hydraulics on the 737 and 777 types. The commonality of aircraft systems draws a tighter circle around its architecture with a stable new battery, as the other aircraft adopts a stable lithium-ion battery it will finally adopt the 787.