Neither sun, nor mud, nor atypically warm March weather in northern Michigan could keep three hardy entries from completing the Endurance Run at the 2010 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at Michigan Technological University. Making it through the course were North Dakota State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it. Their aim: to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or boosting performance.
The Challenge includes a zero emissions division for battery-powered sleds. Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center co-hosts the event with the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
During the Endurance Run, entries in the Challenge's zero emissions division competed in a range test and were judged by how far their battery-powered snowmobiles could travel. Clarkson University went 10 miles, the farthest on a single charge, followed by McGill University in second. Wisconsin-Madison's zero emissions entry was third followed by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, fourth.
The theme for the internal combustion engine division this year is fuel economy. "After10 years of hosting the Challenge, we know we can beat industry emission standards," said co-organizer Jay Meldrum, director of Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center. "Now we want to improve fuel economy using E2X."
E2X is a gasoline-ethanol blend incorporating 20 to 29 percent ethanol.
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