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Old 04-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
SCRAPPYDO
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Default Another A123 Battery failure, injures GM employee

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/...ntcmp=trending

General Motors Co. said Wednesday that a lithium-ion battery undergoing tests at a Warren, Mich., research center exploded, sending an employee to the hospital.
The battery exploded at about 9:00am local time Wednesday at GM's Warren Technical Center, where the auto maker designs and develops new vehicles, a company spokesman said. Emergency personnel examined five employees on the scene and transported one to a local hospital, he said.
The explosion is the latest glitch in the auto industry's efforts to bring electric vehicles to market. GM's battery-powered Volt and Nissan Motor's Leaf had disappointing sales in their first year and several start-up companies producing batteries for electric cars have struggled.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said in an interview the explosion inside the lab blew out three of the building's exterior windows and an eight-inch-thick (20cm) door. The building will likely need extensive renovations, he said. "They had extreme testing going on," Fouts said.
GM spokesman Greg Martin said the damage was confined to the lab, which has windows and doors designed to give way in a blast. GM and the city's fire department are investigating.
The GM employee taken to the hospital was listed in stable condition with a suspected concussion and chemical burns, according to another city official.
The battery involved in Wednesday's incident was being developed for all-electric cars, including a coming line of Spark subcompacts, and is made by A123 Systems Inc., people familiar with the matter said. An official from A123 wasn't available for comment.
A123 last month said it would recall defective battery packs developed for auto makers that were made at its Livonia, Mich., plant. A flaw in the manufacturing process led to defective packs that could cause them to fail, the company then said.
A123, which is owned in part by General Electric Co., is one of several battery companies that built production facilities with aid from the US government. A123 received $249 million in federal grants to build battery facilities.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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"latest glitch" Um, how? Crap happens in testing. That facility is a testing facility, not production. Just another negative media spin.......

Oh and I used to work at the GM Technical Center. Facts over fiction as I've talked to some of my former co-workers over there. Not as stated and Fouts, eh, nevermind.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Sounds like spin. From Fox News? Never!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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So...where is the news here? It sounds like a product failed during extreme testing in a lab that was designed to withstand explosions due to extreme testing.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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I knew I should leave the news and rumors to AVANTI

This states the A123 pack could have been defective...as many A123 packs are. Just ask Fiskar.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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A123 stock is under $1 now. Hmm
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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This is not helping me ever want to put a pile of lithium under my car, with my family in the passenger seats.

This may have been a testing accident, but what about the event of a car accident?

Volts have been shown to catch fire long after the fact, due to unseen internal damage to the cells.

once exposed to an oxygen atmosphere, any lithium substrate can combust, and do so violently. Precautions are taken, but it is still always a risk.

Mere exposure can ignite lithium. An electrically-damaged, or over-discharged cell can damage itself, swell, rupture it's envelope, and expose itself to an oxygen atmosphere, even without a direct kinetic impact event. And once one cell goes, it tends to spread.

A gasoline leak doesn't automatically ignite without an ignition source, and even when it does, it doesn't burn half as hot, and not as fast as lithium does.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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This is what happens when you really push technology forward. It happened in testing most likely way beyond parameters a consumer could ever achieve.

Failures are just as (probably more) important as successes.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
This is not helping me ever want to put a pile of lithium under my car, with my family in the passenger seats.

This may have been a testing accident, but what about the event of a car accident?

Volts have been shown to catch fire long after the fact, due to unseen internal damage to the cells.

once exposed to an oxygen atmosphere, any lithium substrate can combust, and do so violently. Precautions are taken, but it is still always a risk.

Mere exposure can ignite lithium. An electrically-damaged, or over-discharged cell can damage itself, swell, rupture it's envelope, and expose itself to an oxygen atmosphere, even without a direct kinetic impact event. And once one cell goes, it tends to spread.

A gasoline leak doesn't automatically ignite without an ignition source, and even when it does, it doesn't burn half as hot, and not as fast as lithium does.
You do know normal cars are powered by a substance, known in the state of Califonia, to be highly flamable. I hear they even keep it under seats.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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no problem. Workers comp.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not-EWRX View Post
You do know normal cars are powered by a substance, known in the state of Califonia, to be highly flamable. I hear they even keep it under seats.
You saw that he addressed that, right? Gasoline doesn't self-ignite.. it actually needs a fairly strong ignition source which is why cars typically don't go up in flames despite frequent fuel spills.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:11 PM   #12
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I wish there was more actual details about this. I am curious what happened and what they were doing. The tests done on A123 can cells showed them to be very robust, but I would not be surprised if these were pouch cells which are probably lighter and cheaper.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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There is extreme testing, and there is Human error.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #14
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Sounds like just another day at the lab.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:15 AM   #15
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8 inch thick door tells me they know they are working on some stuff that has a real kick if it gets off the chain. Part of research is errors. Human error, manufacturing error and combinations are part of learning. Put it back together and try again.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgilson View Post
8 inch thick door tells me they know they are working on some stuff that has a real kick if it gets off the chain. Part of research is errors. Human error, manufacturing error and combinations are part of learning. Put it back together and try again.

Might be an old dyno cell. I've been there and several labs I saw were old dyno cells with heavy soundproof doors. Or it certainly could be because lithium can be a mean bitch and they made a blast-proof room of some sort.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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Another story of the Media downplaying some information and uplaying other information for more dramatic effect.

Fact is they were extreme testing the battery and probably brought it over current or over temperature to the point of explosion. There is a reason why they do this type of testing to see what it's limits are. So they know where to set their limits so the general consumer never has those problems. It's all a part of R&D, media's trying to spin it like this would be a common occurence for lithium batteries. So we should fear them being used in electric cars.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
A gasoline leak doesn't automatically ignite without an ignition source, and even when it does, it doesn't burn half as hot, and not as fast as lithium does.
true, but there are still daily fires in automobiles.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #19
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^^^good point. I haven't used my pressure washer in years and fired it up. The seal between the carb and fuel tank was leaking and I didn't know it. After about 30 or so minutes of use, the machine was on fire, but I didn't know it because I was intent on cleaning my deck. My son ran out and told me there was a fire. My son being 5 years old at the time was a "ya ya, great", sorta thing. By the time I realized my pressure washer was on fire, it looked like a camp fire. The good thing is, the machine was still running and I sprayed it out with it's own nozel. I'm trying to say, don't worry too much about these things. They happen, and the good thing is it happened in a lab that was designed to handle abnormalities.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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This sounds more like operator error than product error. Were the employees at a location they shouldnt be during that particular test?

If they were the other side of the blast door, they'd be staring at the data logs and Fox news would be misrepresenting Obama quotes as usual.
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