January 19, 2013 |
Chances are the same kind of battery that twice caught fire in Boeing 787 Dreamliners in recent weeks is in your pocket at this very moment. Lithium ion batteries, small and powerful, have become the electricity storage device of choice. They are everywhere -- in cellular phones, laptops, power tools, even cars. They allow us to talk, email and drill longer than ever possible in the past. But the incidents that led to the grounding of the 787 fleet worldwide, and the decision by Boeing on Friday to temporarily halt all deliveries of the plane, have highlighted a troubling downside of these energy-dense dynamos: their tendency to occasionally burst into flames.
February 15, 2013 |
After ongoing lithium-ion battery problems grounded the worldwide fleet of Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliners, European rival Airbus has scrapped plans to use the technology on its new jet. The A350 XWB wide-body passenger jets will instead use “the proven and mastered” nickel cadmium main batteries, the company said Friday. “Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability,” the company said. The A350 XWB, set to enter service in 2014, seats 270 to 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.
March 1, 2012 |
Justin Bieber turned 18 on Thursday and to celebrate, his manager surprised him with a Fisker Karma -- a $100,000 electric car whose sporty physique belies its eco-friendliness. Bieber's manager, Scott Braun, presented the Canadian pop star with the car on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show ," of all places. "We wanted to make sure, since you love cars, that when you're on the road you are always looking environmentally friendly," Braun said as DeGeneres beamed in the background.
October 31, 2008 |
Computer makers are recalling 100,000 laptop battery packs made by Sony Corp. after 40 reports of overheating, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall applies to Sony 2.15Ah lithium-ion cell batteries made in Japan and sold in laptops made by Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Toshiba Corp. Some incidents involved smoke or flames, according to Sony. Details, including laptop model numbers, are posted on the commission's website at www.cpsc.gov.
June 26, 2012 |
A century-old battery originally developed by Thomas Edison to power cars may find new life today with new electrodes developed at Stanford University that allow the battery to be charged and discharged much more rapidly than older versions of the device. The Edison battery, which uses nickel and iron electrodes immersed in an alkaline medium, uses cheap metals that are readily available. Unlike modern lithium-ion batteries, moreover, the Edison battery is unlikely to explode in a crash.
January 24, 2013 |
After investigating a fire that broke out on Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, the National Transportation Safety Board said backup protections in the aircraft's lithium ion batteries and electronics systems have failed. Speaking to reporters Thursday from Washington, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the agency hasn't reached a conclusion on the cause of the fire that occurred in Boston on Jan. 7. But she added that the redundant safety systems installed by Boeing did not work.