Capacitors in depth


A capacitor is a component that has the potential to store an electric charge. Every capacitor is marked with two values: the capacitance, and the maximum voltage that it can be charged to.

The capacitance directly affects the charge and discharge rate of the capacitor. It’s unit of measurement are Farads (F), however capacitors that large are extremely rare, you’ll see the value marked in MicroFarads (uF) much more commonly. The larger the capacitance, the longer it takes to charge and discharge.

The charging time can be calculated by finding the value of the capacitor and the resistance of any components in series with the capacitor. However, because the charging time is not linear, it takes 5 times as long to get to approximately 100% capacity than it does to get to 63.2%.

The resistance multiplied by the capacitance equals the time it takes for the capacitor to charge to 63.2% of the supply voltage (RC= 0.632 x Vs).


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