The battery in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that caught fire in Boston earlier this month was not overcharged, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
But while the battery was not overcharged, government investigators say that there could be other problems with wiring or other charging components.
The fire occurred on a Japan Airlines Dreamliner in Boston, according to Yahoo! News. The NTSB examined the plane’s flight data recorder, which indicated the battery didn’t exceed the 32 volts it was designed for.
The NTSB will continue its investigation into the plane’s battery system to determine the problem that has grounded all 787s currently in service. Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the board, stated:
“Potentially there could be some other charging issue. We’re not prepared to say there was no charging issue.”
The NTSB will meet on Tuesday with officials from Securaplane Technologies Inc. The company is the manufacturer of the Dreamliner’s charger for the lithium ion batteries each plane carries.
While it appears that the battery in the Boston 787 fire wasn’t overcharged, it is possible that the one on an All Nippon Airways flight may have been, notes ABC News. The plan made an emergency landing last week after controls indicated a battery problem and smoke in the cockpit.
John Goglia, a former board member with the NTSB and an aviation expert, stated that too much current flowing too fast in a battery can overwhelm it. The battery may then short-circuit and overheat, even if its voltage remains within safe limits. Goglia added:
“The battery is like a big sponge. You can feed it with an eye dropper or you can feed it from a garden hose. If allowed, it will soak up everything it can from the garden hose until it destroys itself.”
The fate of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner remains uncertain.