Lithium Battery Safety

NOTICE on the Boeing lithium battery situation:

Many people have asked me what’s going on with that. Well, 5-6 years ago when the engineers were looking at lithium batteries, all they had to consider were the lithium COBALT chemistry types / variants.  LiFePo4 was not mature at that time.  Yes, LiCo is lightweight and has a very high energy density, BUT, it is VERY volatile and hard to manage no matter how many safeguards are in place.  LiCobalt is very sensitive to charging deviations, under- and over-current discharge levels, and can self-destruct for any reason and for no reason. These are the lithium ION 3.7V cells the FAA and media are referring to.

Second, the lifespan on 3.7V ‘ion’ cells is only a few hundred cycles before the 80% threshold is reached.

The media is not helping either by labeling this and all other lithium batteries as lithium Ion … all lithium batteries have and function by ionic action / movement of lithium ions. (vs PbA which is a chemical reaction between acid and lead plates.) So, using the word ION after lithium is repetitive and meaningless.

Boeing needs to switch to a LiFePo4 chemistry…

Q: What about the FAA fire danger study?

A: Anything can be dangerous if used irresponsibly, and any study can make a product look better or worse than it really is if the methodology is slanted. The FAA’s scare tactics, er, battery fire test, over-heated the lithium cells to create unrealistic conditions inside the shipping container, then filmed the results as ‘proof’ of the dangers of lithium! Let Fire Marshall Bill show you something…

 

 

The truth is, LiFePo4 safety has been substantiated by many sources such as A123 and Phostech. No accident to date has been verified by direct evidence.