US1931954A - Electrolytic electricity meter - Google Patents

Electrolytic electricity meter Download PDF


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US1931954A US54610331A US1931954A US 1931954 A US1931954 A US 1931954A US 54610331 A US54610331 A US 54610331A US 1931954 A US1931954 A US 1931954A
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Childs William Albert
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Childs William Albert
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    • G01R22/00Arrangements for measuring time integral of electric power or current, e.g. by electricity meters
    • G01R22/02Arrangements for measuring time integral of electric power or current, e.g. by electricity meters by electrolytic methods


Oct. 24, 1933. w. A. CHILDS 1,931,954

ELECTROLYTIC ELECTRICITY METER Filed June 22, 1931 Patented Oct. 2 1933' STATES 1,931,954" ELECTROLYTIC ELECTRICITY METER William Albert Childs, Brighton, England Application June 22, i931, Serial No. 546,103; and

' in Great Britain June 26, .1930

6 Claims. (01. '171 266-)' This invention relates to electricity meters of the electrolytic kind. v

In meters of this character current consumption is measured by electrolytic action which causes the metalusually mercury-of the anode to be deposited at the cathode of an electrolytic cell the quantity of the mercury anode transferred 'to the cathode being the measure of the current.

Meters of this kind as hitherto constructed suf- 10 fer from the disability that they require to be re-set at intervals-that is to say the mercury which has passed from'the anode chamber to the cathode chamber has to be returned to the anode chamber by hand operation.

The object of the present invention is to obviate this defect and provide a self setting and registering meter and the invention consists broadly of a continuously operating electrolytic electricity meter comprising an anode chamber separated from a cathode chamber by a partition of a character which will permit free passage of the electrolyte but will not permit passage of the mercury or anode metal and means for automatically returning the mercury or anode metal 25 from the cathode chamber back to the anode chamber.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of means whereby the mercury returned to the anode chamber makes a contact which device which will in turn cause a registering counter to operate and indicate.

In the accompanying drawing Figure 1 illustrates the invention diagrammatically in association with a special arrangement by means of which the meter can be used for metering alternating current but it is to be understood that the present invention is not concerned with the method by which the direct current is supplied to it, and Figure 2 is a fragmentary sectional View illustrating the essential details of the meter.

Referring to this drawing the numeral 1 designates a sealed glass container which is divided into an anode chamber 2 separated from a small and confined chamber 3 by a porous partition 4 preferably of the nature of what isknown as fritted glass which is powdered glass heated to a temperature which will cause the particles to adhere but below that at which they would fuse. Leading from the cathode chamber-is one leg 5 of a siphon device and as the mercury deposited in the cathode chamber increases in bulk it rises in this leg 5. When, however, the mercury has risen in this tube it passes into two branch tubes 6 and 7 of the siphon device, one of will close a circuit to operate a magnet or relay which 6 rises vertically to provide the head necessary to effect the siphon action and may be calibratedto give aireading of the meter and the other, 7 of which forms the delivery tube of the siphon, Thus, at intervals, dependent on the quantity of mercury forced up the siphon tube5 from the cathode chamber, and thus. also dependent upon the quantity of current passing,

a globule of mercury is delivered by the siphon through the delivery tube 7 of the siphon back to the anode chamber 2. I

' Immediately beneath the delivery tube 7 of the siphon, and above the level of the electrolyte, I provide the contact 8 of a magnet or relay and as the globule of mercury falls over this contact a circuit is completed through the column of mercury in the siphon and the conductor 9 energizes the magnet coil 10 the armature of which actuates the pointer of a registering indicator I in known manner, a step down transformer 11 being provided to protect the meter from the line voltage. Thus the electrolyte meter can operate continuously and will never require to be re-set since, after it has once been started, the mercury of the anode will circulate continuously to the 30 cathode chamber and back again to the anode chamber through the siphon device and on its return to the anode chamber it will complete the circuit of the registering device which will indicate a unit or other definite value of current for each actuation. It will be understood that the porous partition which, separates the anode chamber from the cathode chamber although permitting free circulation of the electrolyte will not permit passage of the mercury through it, the only passage for the mercury being through the siphon device provided, as aforesaid, for the purpose.

If desirable the leg 5 of the siphon device may be provided with a partition 5a of coarse fritted glass which will permit of the passage of mercury from the cathode chamber under the pressure developed in the cathode chamber by the electrolytic action of the meter but will not permit he mercury in the cathode chamber to be shaken back into the anode chamber. This is of some importance in practice as it permits the meter to be sent out ready for use with the cahode chamber full of 'mercury. In this connection it may be mentioned that fritted glass made from particles sifted through a sieve of 80 to 100 mesh I to the inch is suitable for the diaphragm or partition 4 while for the partition 5a the particles can be such as would pass through a sieve of 30 to 35 mesh. 11o

It will also be understood that the electrolytic metering device will be connected in a shunt circuit in the usual manner. The electrolytic meter may be employed to meter alternating current by providing a current transformer T and a full wave rectifier R, preferably a bridge arrangement of cuprous oxide rectifier units, between the alternating current power line and the terminals 9, 9 of the meter. Calibration resistances 12 are provided to control that portion of the total rectified current which passes through the meter.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters l atent is:

1. An electrolytic electricity meter comprising a vessel, a partition dividing said vessel into an anode chamber and a cathode chamber, a liquid anode, a cathode, an electrolyte in said chambers and from which liquid anode material may be deposited on said cathode by electrolysis, said partition being pervious to said electroiyte and impervious to said liquid anode, and means for automatically returning to said anode chamber the liquid anode material deposited on said cathode.

2. An electrolytic electricity meter as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cathode chamber is located below said anode chamber and is of less cubic content than the liquid anode, and said automatic return means comprises a tube connecting the said chambers, whereby the continuing deposition of liquid anode material within said cathode chamber forces a part of said material up said tube and into said anode chamber.

3. In an electrolytic electricity meter of the type including a mercury anode and a mercury salt electrolyte, a vessel, a partition dividing the space within said vessel into an anode chamber and a cathode chamber of restricted size, a pair of electrodes, an electrolyte in said chambers,

mercury in said anode chamber, and a siphon tube for automatically and periodically returning mercury from said cathode chamber to said anode chamber when, subsequent to the previous opera tion of said siphon tube, the mercury deposited in said cathode chamber is equal to a predetermined quantity.

4. The invention as claimed in claim 3, in combination with an auxiliary electrode spaced from the electrolyte and adjacent the discharge end of said siphon tube, and an electric circuit including a measuring indicator connected between said auxiliary electrode and one of said pair of electrodes, whereby said electric circuit is momentarily closed by the mercury discharged from said siphon tube.

5. An electrolytic electricity meter comprising, a vessel, a porous partition dividing said vessel into an upper anode chamber and a lower cathode chamber of restricted size, electrodes in said chambers, a mercury salt electrolyte, mercury in said anode chamber and in contact with the electrode therein, a tube affording communication between said chambers, the upper end of said tube being forked, one branch of said tube being bent downwardly to form a siphon and the other branch extending above the bend of the siphon branch, whereby the rise of mercury in said tube by the continued deposition thereof in said cathode chamber periodically starts said siphon to return mercury to said anode chamber.-

6. The invention as set forth in claim 5, in combination with an auxiliary electrode extending into the path of mercury discharged from.

said siphon, whereby an electric circuit connected between said auxiliary electrode and a point below the electrolyte level in said vessel will be periodically closed by the discharge of mercury through said siphon.


US1931954A 1930-06-26 1931-06-22 Electrolytic electricity meter Expired - Lifetime US1931954A (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2636851A (en) * 1949-07-09 1953-04-28 Ionics Ion-exchange materials and method of making and using the same

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2636851A (en) * 1949-07-09 1953-04-28 Ionics Ion-exchange materials and method of making and using the same

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