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The paper suggests a method of investigating from a unitary point of view the operational characteristics of charge-transfer devices. The equations of the model, as well as the voltage-dependent elements of the equivalent circuits, are derived. Solutions for the transfer inefficiency, the distribution of charge in the discharging potential well and for the currents along the channel, obtained by a stable finite-difference scheme, are reported. A reasonable boundary condition in the form of a nonlinear partial differential equation is derived for the bucket-brigade transfer process. The transfer inefficiency parameter for bucket-brigade devices is defined and numerically computed.