A Ski-Doo snowmobile adapted by Clarkson University helped the team win its second consecutive Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Clarkson University is in Potsdam, N.Y.
Snowmobiles entered in the competition are judged on many criteria, including emissions and noise, but they also have to be functional machines that can be trail ridden, so handling, comfort, endurance and the ability to pull loads are factored in.
Clarkson started with a Ski-Doo MX Z powered by the Rotax ACE 600 engine, and modified the fuel and ignition systems to run on blended fuels that ranged from zero to 40 percent ethanol. The team added a compact, catalytic converter that it designed to further clean up emissions. In taking the overall championship, the team also took honors for Best Handling, Quietest, Best Ride, Best Value and Most Practical Solution.
Ski-Doo models were also chosen by the second- and third-place teams in the internal combustion category and the winner of the Zero Emission category. Kettering University of Flint, Mich., placed second with a Ski-Doo Renegade, also equipped with an ACE 600, and in third was the University of Wisconsin-Platteville using a Ski-Doo MX Z model with the E-TEC 600 as its starting platform.
The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge is an annual competition where college students re-engineer snowmobiles to reduce sound and exhaust emissions. The event is hosted by the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Mich.