Introduction to a basic Capacitor

A Capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy electrostatically in an electric field. The capacitance value of any capacitor is a measure of the amount of electric charge stored per unit of potential difference between the plates. The basic unit of capacitance is a farad

Now let’s understand what an Electrolytic Radial Capacitor is all about

An Electrolytic Radial Capacitor (as shown in figure 1) is a capacitor that uses an electrolyte (an ionic conducting liquid) as one of its plates to achieve a larger capacitance per unit volume than other types. The large capacitance of electrolytic capacitors makes them particularly suitable for passing or bypassing low-frequency signals and storing large amounts of energy.



Figure 1


Physical features of an Electrolytic Radial Capacitor

It is known as a Radial Capacitor because it consists of both the leads in one side rather than in two different sides such as in an Axial Capacitor.

The electrolytic capacitors are mostly polarized and it requires at least one of the electrodes to be positive related to other. The Electrolytic Capacitors will malfunction if the voltage is reversed. This is because a reverse-bias voltage above 1 to 1.5 V will destroy the center layer of dielectric material. And it does not stop here, with the loss of dielectric material, the capacitor will short circuit, and with this short circuit current, the electrolyte will rapidly heat up and either leak or cause the capacitor to burst.


So in order to prevent this situation where we could insert a polarized capacitor incorrectly into a circuit, polarity has to be very clearly indicated on the case. In Electrolytic Radial Capacitors, a bar across the side of the capacitor is commonly used to indicate the negative terminal side and the negative terminal lead is shorter than the positive terminal lead.

Value of an Electrolytic Radial Capacitor

Many conditions determine a capacitor’s value, such as the thickness of the dielectric and the plate area. In the manufacturing process, electrolytic capacitors are made to conform to a set of preferred numbers. They have a maximum storage capacity of 10uf at 50V DC.

Important Features of a 1000uf 35v Electrolytic Radial Capacitor

It has a wide operating temperature range of -55 to 105°C. It offers an excellent reliability and long life – up to 2000 hours at 105°C. At lower operating temperatures, life expectancy is well over 10 to 15 years. They have better performance than the consumer grade parts.They are widely used in switch mode power supplies found in TVs, VCRs, and interconnecting stages of amplifiers at audio frequencies.


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