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About Phidippides

Student team Phidippides has been participating in the Shell Eco-Marathon since 2006. One of the most challenging and competitive student tournaments in the field of innovation, technology, and durability. Phidippides competes in this tournament with two vehicles, the Triga III and Quadriga III.

These compete in the prototype and urban concept class, respectively. Originally only Automotive students used to work on these projects, but now many more students have joined with different backgrounds in, including (but not limited to):

  • Automotive
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Industrial product design
  • Aviation engineering
  • Leisure & events management

The team is composed of a collaboration of students from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, HZ University of Applied Sciences, and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.


Every year a new team of students work hard to improve both the Triga III and the Quadriga III and to come up with new designs to improve performance and efficiency. This year the Electrical engineering students set out to develop a Battery Management System, so the battery can be safely charged and discharged, and a BLDC Motor Driver. We looked to Eurocircuits for fast delivery and high-quality PCB’s as opposed to cheap Chinese competitors.

Motor Controller

A new motor controller needed to be designed for the Quadriga III for entry into the 2021 Shell Eco-Marathon. This controller would be responsible for delivering power from the battery pack to the electric motors. Making use of a microcontroller and CAN-bus this controller would make the driver able to safely control the power the motors. As regulations are strict regarding maximum allowed voltages, a printed circuit board needed to be designed capable of handling high currents. Making full use of a 4-layer printed circuit board, the motor controller will be able to pass currents up to 20 amps safely from the battery to the motors.


The Battery Management Systems needs to safely charge and discharge the battery. To achieve this and to squeeze maximum performance out of the battery pack we decided to build a battery balancing circuit and DC-DC converter for both charging (also regenerative!) and discharging the battery. Since the Shell Eco Marathon restricts the voltage inside the vehicles to a 60V maximum, this introduced some difficulties in design. Namely, high discharge currents of ~70A. Although we were able to construct a somewhat functioning prototype, difficulties make us unsure if development will keep going in exactly this direction, but it is a major steppingstone for future development by other members.


For more information please visit our website teamphidippides

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