This paper explores the novel concept that a hybrid battery pack containing both lithium-ion (Li-ion) and vanadium redox flow (VRF) cells can self-balance automatically, by design. The proposed hybrid pack connects the Li-ion and VRF cells in parallel to form “hybrid cells”, then connects these hybrid cells into series strings. The basic idea is to exploit the recirculation and mixing of the VRF electrolytes to establish an internal feedback loop. This feedback loop attenuates state of charge (SOC) imbalances in both the VRF battery and the lithium-ion cells connected to it. This self-balancing occurs automatically, by design. This stands in sharp contrast to today’s battery pack balancing approaches, all of which require either (passive/active) power electronics or an external photovoltaic source to balance battery cell SOCs. The paper demonstrates this self-balancing property using a physics-based simulation of the proposed hybrid pack. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this work represents the first report in the literature of self-balancing “by design” in electrochemical battery packs.

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