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What Is A Capacitor?

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Introduction

Once known as condenser, the capacitor is essentially a passive two terminal electrical component whose purpose it to store energy in an electric field electrostatically. Although records vary but many believe that a German scientist, Ewald Georg von Kleist, created the first capacitor back in 1745. The practical forms of the capacitor vary greatly but the constant part includes two electrical conductors that are separated by a dielectric (insulator). The dielectric is included to increase the charge capacity of capacitor.

How does a capacitor work?

What is a Capacitor 7Both batteries and capacitors store charge (energy), however, how they do it is different. Let’s take a look at how a capacitor stores energy. When a potential difference is applied to capacitor the development of electric field across the dielectric occurs which then results in accumulation of positive charge on one plate and negative charge on the other plate. This charge that has been stored will flow out if an alternating voltage is applied to the capacitor. The SI unit for capacitance is farad [F].

Types of Capacitor? What is a Capacitor 3 What is a Capacitor 6

  • Ceramic capacitors
  • Film capacitors
  • Film power capacitors
  • Electrolytic capacitors
  • Supercapacitors
  • Class X and Class Y capacitors
  • Miscellaneous capacitors
  • Variable capacitors

Applications of Capacitors

What is a Capacitor What is a Capacitor 2 What is a Capacitor 8 What is a Capacitor 5

  • Power conditioning
  • Power factor correction
  • Suppression and coupling
  • Signal coupling
  • Decoupling
  • High-pass and low-pass filters
  • Noise suppression, spikes, and snubbers
  • Motor starters
  • Signal processing
  • Tuned circuits
  • Sensing
  • Oscillators
  • Energy storage
  • Pulsed power and weapons

Precautionary MeasuresWhat is a Capacitor 10 What is a Capacitor 4

  • Make use of Brinkley Stick to discharge capacitors.
  • If a capacitor is swelling; it is about to fail and you need to change it.
  • Make sure you buy the correct rating capacitor as per your need.
  • Examine the capacitors when they’re close to completing their life cycle as mentioned on the product packing.

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