Boeing 787 Flies with New Li-ion Batteries and NTSB Sets Dates and Agenda for Li-ion Forum

March 25, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Yesterday, Boeing flew a 787 Dreamliner with redesigned Li-ion batteries for a test flight of slightly over 2 hours and reported that preliminary results indicated that all systems performed as expected. Also yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that its upcoming forum, "Lithium Ion Batteries in Transportation," will be held on April 11-12 in Washington D.C.. The NTSB also released a preliminary agenda for the event. Organizations and/or individuals can submit input for consideration as part of the forum's archived materials.

On Thursday, April 11, the morning panel will discuss “Design, Development, and Use of Lithium Ion Battery Technology.” This panel will discuss the design, development, and performance of lithium ion batteries. The design and development discussion will focus on battery configurations; advantages and disadvantages based on chemistry, power stability, and energy density; physical and electrical protective devices; manufacturing procedures and best practices; and quality assurance. The battery performance discussion will explore failure modes and other performance issues. Discussions will also include the range of lithium ion battery manufacturing processes.

Also on Thursday, a second panel in the afternoon will discuss “Regulations & Standards for Lithium Ion Batteries.” This panel will provide an overview and update of domestic and international regulatory requirements and standards associated with manufacturing, consumer and industry use, and transportation of lithium ion battery cargo. Topics will also include current and future lithium ion battery safety challenges for regulatory agencies and standard setting organizations.

Friday morning, April 12, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. This final panel of the forum will address “Lithium Ion Battery Applications & Safety in Transportation.” This panel will discuss the application and safety aspects of lithium battery technology in various transportation modes. The integration of the technology into existing designs will be explored including design standards, advantages and risks associated with use, reliability and failure; and what future use is planned. The panel will also discuss safety management considerations and strategies for first responders.

The NTSB announced on March 7 (when it released its interim factual report on the Jan. 7 Japan Airlines Boeing 787 battery fire investigation) that it would be holding a forum to better understand how lithium ion batteries are used across transportation modes. The forum will be held at the NTSB Conference Center and Board Room in downtown Washington at 429 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20594, and is free and open to all. No registration is required.