Development of a Low-Speed Two-Stroke Direct-Injection Snowmobile for Use in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge and National Parks
Due in part to stringent noise and air pollution control measures imposed on snowmobiles by the U.S. National Park Service, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) instituted a student competition called the Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC), first run in 2000. The competition is designed to encourage the development of a snowmobile that will meet or exceed specific required pollution and noise control measures, while maintaining or improving the snowmobile’s performance. The objective of this project is to produce a snowmobile that will meet the criteria for the 2011 CSC, which requires that snowmobiles be able to use a fuel with a higher percentage ethanol blend, and also allows teams to use a larger engine than in previous events. The snowmobile has a modified stock chassis with a drivetrain designed to minimize sound production and maximize power transmission. The power plant for the 2011 University of Idaho snowmobile will be a larger custom-made direct-injected two-stroke engine. The smaller displacement version of this engine and basic snowmobile have been proven with a CSC First Place showing in the 2007 competition, a Second Place in 2008, and Third in 2010 where it was modified to use E20+ (20+% ethanol/70-80% premium gasoline). The other major change for the 2011 competition is the removal of the 600cc displacement limit for a two-stroke engine. Instead there will be a maximum acceptable power output of 130 horsepower at full throttle for reasons of safety. The team will continue to use graduate mentors as leaders for this primarily undergraduate competition team.