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Power density of a bare electrodynamic tether generator
Power density of a bare electrodynamic tether generator.
"Journal of Propulsion And Power", v. 28
The maximum performance of bare electrodynamic tethers as power generating systems under OML-theory is analyzed. Results show that best performance in terms of power density is achieved by designing the tether in such a way to increase ohmic impedance with respect to plasma contact impedance, hence favoring longer and thinner tethers. In such condition the corresponding optimal value of the load impedance is seen to approach the ohmic impedance of the conducting tether. At the other extreme, when plasma contact impedance dominates (which is not optimal but can be relevant for some applications) optimum power generation is found by matching the load impedance with an effective tether-plasma contact impedance whose expression is derived.
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