Mechanisms and applications of vibration energy harvesting in solid rocket motors

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Microsystem Technologies


Energy harvesting has become a fascinating topic of research. As the world moves towards reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, new and innovative techniques of energy harvesting have been tested and developed. The use of piezoelectric materials to harvest the ambient vibrations from the surroundings is one method that has seen a dramatic rise in use for power harvesting. Remote sensors can be powered by these piezoelectric materials and could potentially act as a continuous source of energy. In space vehicles, energy is generated using solar panels which are bulky, heavy and expensive. Instead piezoelectric harvesters can be used to generate power and are much lighter, compact and relatively cheap when produced in bulk. This paper presents a theoretical study on energy harvesting from structural vibration caused by combustion instability of a solid rocket motor through the motor burnout. Vibration data of tested solid rocket motor was taken as a reference and was inputted as the boundary condition. The 3-D model of the harvester system was designed on Fusion360 and the simulation was performed on COMSOL. Finally, improvements needed in the system to enhance practicality were discussed.

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