Class Notes

Current as of: June, 1999
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Classification: 320/

Where a term, phrase, or derivation thereof appears in italics in this class definition, that term or phrase is defined in the Glossary, below. Use of such italics may be limited to once per sentence or paragraph for better readability.


This class provides for a method or apparatus for controlled or regulated charging, discharging, or combined charging and discharging of one or more voltaic cells, batteries, or capacitors.


This is the residual class for subject matter relating to:

1. a method or apparatus for charging or electrically rejuvenating (e.g., depolarizing, etc.) a voltaic cell, battery, or electrical capacitor, wherein said charging or rejuvenating is accomplished by controlled addition of electrical energy into the cell, battery, or capacitor;

2. a method or apparatus for discharging a voltaic cell, battery, or electrical capacitor, wherein discharging is accomplished by controlled release of electrical energy from the cell, battery, or capacitor into a nominal electrical load, and further wherein the voltaic cell, battery, capacitor, or combination thereof comprises the only source of supply for the load;

3. a method or apparatus for combined charging and discharging, whether or not the charging and discharging occur simultaneously;

4. a method or apparatus for charging, discharging, or combined charging and discharging, in combination with subject matter auxiliary or appurtenant thereto for measuring, testing, signalling or indicating a charge or related condition of a cell, battery, capacitor, or operation of a related charge or discharge circuit with respect to a charging or discharging function or condition; or 5. a cell, battery, or capacitor structurally combined with a generator or electrical converter, whether or not electrical interconnection therebetween is recited.

(1) Note. The term "capacitor" has replaced the archaic term "condenser" used in previous definition(s) of this class. However, these terms are to be interpreted herein as being

interchangeable and therefor synonymous in scope and breadth, irrespective of the modern accepted interpretation of the term "condenser." See Glossary, below.

(2) Note. This class provides for charging or discharging of a plural battery or capacitor arrangement (e.g., battery pack, etc.), with or without a controlled generator. However, charging or discharging of a single battery or capacitor with a controlled generator is classified elsewhere. See References to Other Classes, below.

(3) Note. This class provides for a charging circuit where a cell, battery, or capacitor forms the only intended useful load for the circuit. Where a load diverse from a cell, battery, or capacitor to be charged is recited, or where there is recited an additional circuit having utility outside of this class, original classification is outside of this class unless specifically provided for herein.

(4) Note. A nominal electrical load for receiving discharge energy may be either a single load or a plural load that functions or appears as a single load to a discharge circuit. The load must be recited only by its electrical characteristics (e.g., a D.C. load, a capacitive load, etc.), and may also be recited as a nominal variable load. Unless specifically provided for herein, original classification is outside of this class where: (a) the recited load is identified by its nonelectrical characteristics or its particular-art purpose (e.g., electric motor, welding, electrolysis, etc.); (b) plural loads function or appear to a discharge circuit as other than a single or merely variable electrical load; or (c) a source, other than a voltaic cell, battery, capacitor, or combination thereof, is recited for supplying the load, unless specifically provided for herein (See (8) Note, below).

(5) Note. If an electrical load is disclosed as a battery or a capacitor, then claimed recitation of the load as a "battery," "capacitor," etc., is sufficient basis for classification herein. If, however, the load is recited as an "electric device," an "electric load," a "translation device," etc., classification is based upon another significant limitation and not on the basis of the disclosure of the particular load device, unless there is no appropriate place for the classification elsewhere.

(6) Note. If a supply source for a single load is disclosed as a battery or capacitor and the load is not specified or limited to a particular art, claimed recitation of the source as a "battery" or "capacitor" is sufficient basis for classification herein. However, classification of the same is elsewhere if the claimed recitation of the load is in general terminology, e.g., "a source," "a source of emf," "a source of voltage or current," etc., where proper classification is based upon a limitation other than the claimed source.

(7) Note. A method or apparatus for manufacturing a battery,

capacitor, or part thereof is classified elsewhere (see References to Other Classes, below), even if combined with charging or discharging. However, an apparatus for charging or discharging, per se, is classified in this class even if an intended use is recited for charging or discharging, per se, during, or as a subcombination of, a manufacturing process. This should be contrasted with a method for charging or discharging which is limited to being incident to manufacture, which is excluded from this class and controls classification when subject matter for this class is also claimed.

(8) Note. Where there is a combination of charging and discharging recited: (a) there may be one or more sources of charge energy, which may include one or more cells, batteries, or capacitors; (b) a cell, battery, or capacitor to be charged may be the cell, battery, or capacitor to be discharged; (c) a source of charge energy other than a cell, battery or capacitor (hereinafter nonbattery source) may supply a load or discharge circuit simultaneously with a cell, battery, or capacitor to be discharged, except where: (i) the cell, battery or capacitor to be discharged can supply the load or discharge circuit only when the nonbattery source is connected to supply the load or discharge circuit; (ii) the nonbattery source can energize the load or discharge circuit without the cell, battery, or capacitor to be discharged.

(9) Note. Where no subclass specifically provides for a method appropriate for this class, classification is proper in a subclass that provides for a device to practice the method. STATEMENT CONCERNING THE SEARCH CLASS NOTES IN REFERENCES TO OTHER CLASSES, BELOW

Since substantially any electrical system or any special-art combination in which an electrical system is a part may charge or discharge a battery or capacitor, whereby said charging or discharging is inherent in the operation thereof, the following SEARCH CLASS notes in References to Other Classes, below, are not represented as being exhaustive of such subject matter.



136, Batteries: Thermoelectric and Photoelectric, for a structure for converting heat or light directly into electrical energy.

204, Chemistry: Electrical and Wave Energy, for a process involving the use of electrolysis or wave energy, a product solely disclosed as made by such process, apparatus for performing such process, or an electrolyte composition for use in such process.

290, Prime-Mover Dynamo Plants, for a combination of a prime mover (other than a dynamoelectric machine) and a dynamoelectric machine which supplies energy to or absorbs energy from a battery, particularly

16, and 50 and the subclasses indicating that the dynamoelectric machine is for starting purposes.

307, Electrical Transmission or Interconnection Systems,

9.1+, for an electrical system for a vehicle, such as railway car or automobile, which typically include a storage battery therein; subclass 46 for an electrical system having plural sources, one of which is a battery connected to the system through an intervening converter; subclasses 48+ for an electrical system in which a storage battery floats across another source of current; subclasses 66+ in which a storage battery serves as an emergency or substitute source of current; subclass 108 for an electrical system for producing a pulse by use of a capacitor; and subclasses 109+ for an electrical system that includes a capacitor for a purpose such as a voltage dropping impedance or a voltage doubler.

315, Electric Lamp and Discharge Devices: Systems, for an electric lamp or discharge device as a load into which a battery or condenser discharges, particularly 33, and 86 through 87 for a battery combination, and appropriate subclasses for a capacitor combination.

318, Electricity: Motive Power Systems,

139, for an electric motor system wherein the motor is supplied only by a primary or secondary battery and subclasses 440+ for an electric motor system wherein the motor is supplied by plural sources, one of which might be a primary or secondary battery.

322, Electricity: Single Generator Systems, for a generator system that supplies a single load circuit.

323, Electricity: Power Supply or Regulation Systems, for voltage-magnitude control system.

324, Electricity: Measuring and Testing,

425+, for testing an electrolytic device such as a battery.

330, Amplifiers, appropriate subclasses for amplifier circuitry, per se.

331, Oscillators, particularly

111+, 129+, and 143+ for a relaxation oscillator that utilizes an RC time-constant network to determine the period of a pulse or oscillation.

332, Modulators, appropriate subclass, for a modulator circuit, per se. 333, Wave Transmission Lines and Networks, particularly

175+, for a wave filter for passing electrical energy of one frequency or range of frequencies, while attenuating electrical energy of another frequency or range of frequencies.

361, Electricity: Electrical Systems and Devices,

271+, for an electrostatic capacitor and subclasses 502+ for an electrolytic capacitor.

362, Illumination, particularly

459+, for battery-supplied vehicle lighting and subclasses 157+ for a portable, self-contained, battery-supplied illuminating device.

363, Electric Power Conversion Systems,

13+, (and subclasses mentioned in the notes thereto) for a rectifying system.

378, X-Ray or Gamma Ray Systems or Devices,

103, for an X-ray electrical system with capacitor discharge.

429, Chemistry: Electrical Current Producing Apparatus, Product, and Process.

441, Buoys, Rafts, and Aquatic Devices, 18, for a buoy having a battery-supplied illuminating means.

607, Surgery: Light, Thermal, and Electrical Application, for medical application of electric energy to the body, particularly

149, for body wear that includes electrodes of dissimilar materials which form a battery with body perspiration as the electrolyte.



A unit source of D.C. voltage consisting of a plurality of voltaic cells electrically connected in series, parallel, or both, to increase available voltage or power from a single cell. "Plural batteries" include a combination or association of two or more structurally dependent, or independent, battery units.


An electrical energy storage device consisting essentially of two electrically conductive surfaces (e.g., plates, electrodes, etc.) separated by an insulator or dielectric (e.g., air, paper, mica glass, plastic, oil, etc.), whereby an electric charge, in the form of a direct voltage between said conductive surfaces, can be either stored on said surfaces or released therefrom to a load. "Plural capacitors" include a combination or association of two or more structurally dependent, or independent, capacitor units.


Short for, or used interchangeably with, a voltaic cell only in this class.

CHARGE: BATTERY OR CELL The act of adding electrical energy (e.g., supplying current, etc.) into a battery or cell from a diverse source of electrical energy to increase the amount of useful and available chemical energy stored in the battery or cell; or, the amount of chemical energy stored in a battery or cell that is available for useful conversion to electrical energy for supplying an electric load.


The act of applying an electric potential across the electrodes or plates of a capacitor from a diverse source of electrical energy to increase the amount of useful and available electrical energy stored in the capacitor, or the amount of energy stored in a capacitor that is available for release to usefully supply electrical energy to an electric load.


The electric circuit or path that extends from a charging source to a battery, cell, or capacitor to be charged.


The immediate source from which electric energy is derived for addition into a battery, cell, or capacitor, where the polarity of the source is such as to cause current to flow in opposition to the normal polarity of the battery, cell, or capacitor, if the latter is polarized, and may be, for example: (1) a mere charging circuit; (2) means for collecting atmospheric, parasitic, or other stray electric charge or currents; (3) means for converting electrical energy having one or more particular electrical characteristics into electrical energy having a different characteristic (e.g., electrical converters such as a combination alternating current source and rectifier, where

the rectifier is considered to be the "immediate source"; (4) means for converting energy, other than electrical, into electric energy (e.g., electrical generator, fuel cell, etc.).


Any control that effects the flow of energy from a charging source, including (a) direct control of the charging source itself or (b) the flow or delivery of energy from the charging source to a load.


Fully establishing and/or fully interrupting the conductivity of an electrical path between two or more points in an electrical circuit by physical movement of electrically conductive elements into and out of physical contact with each other. CONDENSER

An obsolete or out-of-favor term for "capacitor." Although still used in the automotive field to refer to a capacitor used across ignition points to prevent arcing, it is interpreted as being synonymous with "capacitor" in this class, with no implied limitation to its use.


The process of preserving or restoring a primary cell by partially or completely removing its increased resistance (i.e., polarization) as the potential of an electrode changes during electrolysis.


The act of removing available electrical energy from storage in a battery, cell, or capacitor via flow of electric current from the battery or capacitor to a load.


An electrical device or path which allows flow of electrical current from a battery or capacitor to an electrical load, especially that path or device that controls or regulates said flow.


An electrochemical generator that uses the reaction of oxygen and a hydrocarbon fuel, or derivative thereof (e.g., hydrogen, etc.), to convert chemical energy into electricity. It is distinguishable from a voltaic cell because of its use of a hydrocarbon for fuel, and because it can operate continuously without a voltaic cell's inherent chemical degradation of electrodes, as long as fuel and oxygen are

available or supplied.

LOAD, LOAD DEVICE, OR LOAD CIRCUIT Any electrical device for usefully converting or consuming electrical energy other than those devices which are merely accessory, auxiliary, or appurtenant to the source and/or the circuit which supplies electric energy. [An accessory or auxiliary device is a device used to affect operation, control, or care of a source and/or supply circuit and may, for example, comprise a device employed: (i) to test, indicate, or measure a condition of or in a source or supply circuit, or (ii) to regulate or control the flow of electric energy from or through the source or supply circuit.]


A cell or battery that cannot have its available charge usefully increased (i.e., recharged like a secondary cell) by an electric current passing through it after having been discharged from a usefully charged condition (i.e., the chemical reaction is not reversible). (See the definition of Depolarization, above).


Control of one or more characteristics or conditions whereby said characteristics or conditions can be maintained at some predetermined value, or can be varied over a plurality of values.


A cell or battery that may have its available charge usefully increased (i.e., recharged) by an electric current passing through it after having been discharged from a usefully charged condition (i.e., the chemical reaction is reversible).


An elementary unit source of electrical energy stored as chemical energy, comprising two separated dissimilar electrodes bridged by an electrolyte, wherein said unit source produces a potential difference across said electrodes in a chemical reaction involving said electrodes and electrolyte that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. [Synonymous with cell, but distinguished from a fuel cell, in which the electrodes are not required to be chemically involved in the primary reaction.]