Pittsburgh, March 8, 2016 — Like cars, snowmobiles are becoming more environmentally friendly each year. The annual SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge invites university students to improve upon current standards by reengineering a stock snowmobile to reduce noise and emissions. One of the teams in this year’s challenge, the Zero Emissions Snowmobile Electric Knights from Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York), turned to Covestro LLC for help in preparing their snowmobile for competition.
Clarkson University students replaced the internal combustion engine of an existing snowmobile with an electric motor to compete in the zero emissions category, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF seeks zero emissions snow vehicles for climate research at Summit Station in Greenland.
The Electric Knights are presenting their converted snowmobile at the event, which takes place March 7-12, in Houghton, Michigan.
Four lithium-ion battery modules are housed in two boxes (each 8 x 9 x 11.5 inches). A high voltage circuit is housed in a separate box (15.5 x 9 x 35 inches) that extends under the seat. All the boxes are constructed of Makrolon® AR (abrasion resistant) polycarbonate sheet donated by Covestro. The team chose to use Makrolon® AR polycarbonate sheet because competition regulations require all lithium ion batteries be contained within an electrical insulated box that is fire-resistant to UL94-V0 or equivalent standards. Makrolon® AR polycarbonate sheet will also form two additional boxes that will hold the motor controller and other smaller circuits.
Competition regulations also require the use of a 1/16-inch aluminum barrier or another material with the equivalent burn-through rating between all high voltage systems and the drive of the snowmobile. With Makrolon® AR abrasion resistant polycarbonate sheet, competition requirements are met with one material. This saves the team time during the building process and reduces the weight of the snowmobile.
“We are proud to support the next generation of engineers and wish the Electric Knights the best of luck in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge. With the Makrolon® AR polycarbonate sheet, the inner workings of the snowmobile are well protected, contributing to the safety of the operator,” said Celeste Dunn, segment manager for transportation, Polycarbonate Sheet, Covestro LLC.
Makrolon® AR polycarbonate sheets offer high abrasion resistance and surface hardness in addition to polycarbonate's high impact resistance, strength and clarity. The material’s proprietary hard-coat provides chemical resistance and long-lasting performance.
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.
About Clarkson University:
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., and Schenectady, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.
Cindy Race, Phone: +1 413-528-7812
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