and why Tesla Modl S batteries are better and safe.
A new business-prospect for Elon Musk?
Just some input from a long time friend, a PHD, holding many battery patents, working for years as the head of a battery lab for a large national company
I read the article -- not sure that there is anything super useful for a Tesla owner or Boeing for that matter, as I think the twitter was more about PR than anything. With that said, I'll offer two thoughts: the Roadster does have active cooling, which is probably more to do with extending battery life than preventing a catastrophe. More significantly, I think the use of many smaller cells rather than a few huge ones, probably does more to set the Tesla design approach apart from Boeing. Despite the probability of a bad cell being greater with more cells, the consequences of failure and large thermal events can be lower, provided the pack is designed well (adequate thermal and electrical isolation between cells).
One take away message is that lithium ion batteries are wonderful things but have more narrow design margins than other batteries. This results in a less robust or forgiving system that does not tolerate abuse or manufacturing defects. I say this with some amount of knowledge. It is possible to engineer more robustness into the systems, but this comes at a cost of performance (size, weight, range and/or dollars). Therefore, there is a balance point. Seeking the right balance point is different for batteries used aerospace or medical devices than from consumer electronics. Boeing is learning this lesson the hard way. Empirically, the Tesla batteries have held up very well. In sum, I think you should be able to enjoy your car with confidence in performance and safety.
I still look forward to joining you for a test drive when yours arrives!
I suppose the large cells could be made safer with pass-through cooling tubes, etc.
Here is an interesting article on the battery technology used by Boing, Tesla and its competitors.
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