How to Power an Exoskeleton
An exoskeleton meant to encapsulate a human for the purpose of operating in a hostile or dangerous environment must have power generation solutions that have; thus far, remained unsatisfactory. I propose a compact and lightweight solution not so far from existing technologies. http://www.prolawguide.com/
The most interesting way to solve the problem is to review solutions of the past and implement the best of all components. First, fuel density, to remain compact one must utilize a practical high density fuel. For simplicity, a binary fuel of kerosene and pure oxygen will be selected. Kerosene and oxygen have been used successfully in Russian rockets reliably for years. Atomizing kerosene and oxygen in a pressure chamber to 30 atmospheres gives you a lot of boom-and-go!
Second, we need to convert this “boom-and-go” (henceforth called pressure and velocity) into rotational energy. This has and will be best recovered by turbines. The kind of turbines that work best for energy recovery will be like a Pelton wheel with smaller Pelton wheels similarly configured like the rear gears of bicycle. The reason for Pelton wheels is simple. Twice as much energy is recovered by redirecting the pressure flow as close to 180 degrees as possible. Modern high speed turbines redirect less than 90 degrees and depend on stators and staging to recover more with the inevitable losses involved.
As the compounded Pelton wheel spools up, nozzle flow is successively directed to the smaller diameter wheels, resulting in very high speed. Third, the compound Pelton wheel is electromagnetically coupled to an electrical generator which then transforms high frequency / low voltage energy into low frequency / high voltage current. This power drives the fourth: the flywheel.
Bitterly flywheels transform electric energy into a kinetic energy storage device on magnetic bearings in a vacuum. This energy is then the “battery” that supplies energy demand to linear motors which are the actuators or “muscles” of the machine that an operator drives.
This kind of system can easily supply 900 horsepower with minimum weight, not an insignificant accomplishment, and extraordinary in sensation. To get an idea of the power involved, imagine driving an Indy car and accelerating hard and fast enough to make breathing difficult with the adrenaline pumping harder than your better judgement can say, “slow down!” This is 900 horsepower.
Now, change that Indy car into an exoskeleton. You are inside of a titanium nickel exoskeleton whose power source is the love child between a Russian rocket and a very secret military jet engine. Your capabilities include going to the bottom of the ocean autonomously to recover and repair what others can not. You can work in the asteroid belt beyond Mars mining a trillion dollars worth of very rare and very pure metals. You can construct base stations on the Moon or Mars or where ever humanity decides to roam!