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January 30, 2013
2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge On Track For March 4-9
Challenge organizers are hoping to raise $10,000 to underwrite awards for the student engineers, who spend months and sometimes years fine-tuning snowmobiles to meet the demands of the competition.
“Students learn critical lessons about hands-on engineering and designing for the environment, plus the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a huge asset to our local community,” said co-organizer Jay Meldrum. “Superior Ideas lets anyone be part of that by donating whatever they can afford.” To find out more, go to http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/clean-snowmobile/.
A record 21 teams have registered this year. “We’re also
looking forward to hosting two rookie teams: Queen’s University in
The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. A total of 14 teams are registered in the 2013 Challenge’s internal combustion category. Seven teams are entered in the Challenge’s zero-emissions category for batter-powered electric sleds, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF uses electric snowmobiles while conducting atmospheric research in pristine arctic locations.
Fuel economy—no matter what recipe the fuel—is again a top priority in this year’s Challenge. Internal combustion sleds will need to adapt to fuels with a range of ethanol concentrations, from E40 (40 percent) to E85 (85 percent). “If a team doesn’t design for that, they won’t do well,” Meldrum said.
The diesel-powered entries from the State University of New York at Buffalo and North Dakota State University will face flex fuels with a soybean-based content ranging from B00 (0 percent) to B9 (9 percent).
Winning sleds must do more than pass muster on quietness, emissions and fuel economy. They also complete a 100-mile Endurance Run, which is a measure of reliability. Acceleration and handling events test the entrants’ fun and rideability.
The whisper-quiet, ultra-clean zero-emissions sleds are rated on acceleration and handling. They also undergo load tests to determine their carrying capacity.
In addition to the NSF, major sponsors include Aristo, AVL, Boss Snow Plow, Coca Cola of Hancock, Dassault Systems/Solid Works Corporation, Gage Products, the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, PCB Group Inc., Phoenix International-A John Deere Company, Sensors Inc., DENSO, Mahle Powertrain, Emitec and NGK/NTK Sensors.
Local businesses will provide services, donations and in-kind contributions. Volunteers from the Michican Snowmobile Association have pitched in every year to provide logistical support and guidance to team members.
The Challenge is sponsored at
Below is a lineup of Challenge contestants.
Internal Combustion Class
Ecole de Technologie Superieure (
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Minnesota-Duluth
Rochester Institute of Technology (
Zero Emissions—Electric Class
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
University of Minnesota-Duluth
Queen’s University (
© 2013 SnoWest® Magazine