Lightweight conductive tethers, fairings around tethers

One of the prerequisites for flygen AWE is a lightweight conductive tether I think, like a lightweight motor is a prerequisite for powered flight, maybe a fairing around a tether is too, or an airfoil shaped tether.

This topic is to explore that, or this idea:

This nice calculator could help:

Do you still remember what formula you used for the conductive wire area and the insulation thickness @aokholm?

This calculator lets the diameter of the dyneema rope determine the number of conductive wires, which I either don’t like, because it multiplies the insulation and jacket weights, or don’t understand.

I would like to be able to use a different design than the calculator uses, though that seems somewhat standard for flygen:

This for example, or something with a separate conductive wire and dyneema rope and a fairing around them:

Questions might be:

  • What are different transformer options
  • Could you design a transformer that is better suitable for AWE
  • How many wind turbines should you put on a wing
  • How do you calculate cable weights outside of the bounds the calculator allows
  • What are possible fairing designs
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Or I don’t know. With 0.5MW, 10kV, 0.95 voltage drop, 1 insulation safety factor, 1500 meter length tether you get a tether weight of 0.2 kg/m, which seems good enough.

Length becomes critical because of flutter is an issue raised previously in tether fairing studies and by the TU Delft study on flutter for Makani
was mentioned previously on the forum

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