The Anonymous Widower

Are Lithium Ion Batteries Too Dangerous?

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been grounded because of the fire risk of lithium ion batteries catching fire.  There is a news item here, which discusses the problem.

Having read the article my safety first brain, says that the batteries are not proven technology for use in applications such as aviation. This piece to me is crucial.

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, a former US Airways pilot famed for his precision flying that enabled passengers and crew to survive an emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York, said in an interview that he wouldn’t be comfortable flying an airliner that carried lithium ion aircraft batteries in its cargo hold.

“The potential for self-ignition, for uncontained fires, is huge,” he said. The new regulations “need to be looked at very hard in the cold light of day, particularly with what has happened with the 787 batteries.”

Pilots generally don’t accept unnecessary risks.

So lets get out and do more research and testing. I have a feeling though, that this problem will be solved by the re-engineering of some old technology or a completely new and novel one, that is easily proven to be safe. But it won’t be solved quickly!

Incidentally, I just had a count up and there are five small lithium ion batteries on the table as I type this.

February 3, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,


  1. What about all the mobile phones and tablet computers on an aeroplane? They all contain Lithium Ion batteries.

    Comment by John Wright | February 3, 2013 | Reply

    • But they’re nearly thirty kilograms each! And there’s a pair in each aircraft! After all Dell and others had quite a few explosions a couple of years back. The trouble is the batteries burn very hot.

      Comment by AnonW | February 3, 2013 | Reply

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