PHOTO CAPTION: Boeing 787 Dreamliner is first commercial jet to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries.

Dreamliner, Volt Share Batteries, But Differing Safety Regimes

While carmakers have worked for lithium batteries for several years, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first commercial aircraft to use them and the government is still adapting to the technology.

Published: 27-Jan-2013

As Boeing Co. and federal regulators wrestle with the safety issues plaguing the launch of the Dreamliner 787 and its lithium-ion batteries, there are parallels with the experience of the auto industry but far more differences – due largely to the divergent approaches of government safety regulators.

In both industries, the introduction of lithium-ion batteries – as opposed to the more common nickel-cadmium battery — was driven by the quest for fuel efficiency and potency, since lithium-ion batteries hold their charge far longer and operate at a higher voltage.

Problems cropped up early on in both industries.


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