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A capacitor is a passive electronic component that stores and releases electrical energy in an electrical field. It consists of two conductive plates separated by an insulating material called a dielectric. Here are some key points about capacitors:

Components of a Capacitor:

  • Conductive Plates: Typically made of metal, these plates store opposite electric charges.
  • Dielectric: The insulating material between the plates that prevents direct electrical contact and allows the storage of electric energy.
  • Terminals: The conductive leads that connect the capacitor to a circuit.

Capacitor Characteristics:

  • Capacitance: Measured in farads (F), capacitance represents the ability of a capacitor to store charge at a given voltage.
  • Voltage Rating: Indicates the maximum voltage a capacitor can handle without breaking down.
  • Dielectric Constant: Determines the capacitance value and affects the efficiency of energy storage.

Working Principle:

  • Charging: When a voltage is applied across the plates, one plate accumulates positive charge while the other accumulates negative charge, creating an electric field in the dielectric.
  • Energy Storage: Capacitors store energy in the form of an electric field.
  • Discharging: Capacitors release stored energy when the circuit is closed, allowing the stored charge to flow back.

Types of Capacitors:

  • Electrolytic Capacitors: High capacitance values, often used in power supply circuits.
  • Ceramic Capacitors: Small in size, stable, used in high-frequency circuits.
  • Tantalum Capacitors: High reliability, used in precision circuits.
  • Film Capacitors: Made of a thin plastic film, used in audio circuits and filtering applications.
  • Variable Capacitors: Can change capacitance value, used in tuning circuits.

Capacitor Applications:

  • Filtering: Smoothing out voltage fluctuations in power supplies.
  • Coupling: Connecting AC signals between different electronic stages while blocking DC signals.
  • Decoupling: Preventing noise coupling between different parts of a circuit.
  • Timing: Creating timing circuits in oscillators and timers.

Capacitors are fundamental components in electronics and are used in a wide range of applications to store energy, filter signals, stabilize voltage levels, and control the timing of electronic circuits. Their ability to store and release electrical energy makes them essential components in modern electronics.

How Do I Choose the Right Capacitor

Choosing the right capacitor for your application involves considering various factors such as capacitance value, voltage rating, temperature stability, size, cost, and more. Here are some steps to help you select the appropriate capacitor for your needs:

Steps to Choose the Right Capacitor:

  1. Identify Your Requirements:

    • Determine the purpose of the capacitor in your circuit (filtering, decoupling, timing, etc.).
    • Note the required capacitance value and voltage rating for your application.
  2. Select the Capacitance Value:

    • Ensure that the selected capacitor has a capacitance value suitable for your application.
    • Consider factors that might affect your capacitance needs, such as frequency response requirements.
  3. Choose the Voltage Rating:

    • Select a capacitor with a voltage rating higher than the maximum voltage it will be subjected to in your circuit to prevent breakdown.
  4. Consider the Dielectric Material:

    • Different dielectric materials provide varying properties (e.g., stability, temperature coefficients).
    • Choose a dielectric material suitable for your application requirements.
  5. Temperature Stability:

    • Check the capacitor's temperature coefficient to ensure stable performance across temperature variations if needed.
  6. Size Constraints and Mounting:

    • Consider the physical size and mounting requirements of the capacitor to ensure it fits within your design constraints.
  7. Consider ESR and Ripple Current:

    • For applications like power supply filtering, consider Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) and ripple current ratings for capacitors.
  8. Type of Capacitor:

    • Select the type of capacitor (electrolytic, ceramic, tantalum, etc.) based on the specific requirements of your application.
  9. Cost and Availability:

    • Consider the cost of the capacitor and its availability from suppliers for mass production or replacements.
  10. Review Datasheets and Specifications:

  • Consult capacitor datasheets for detailed specifications, characteristics, and performance graphs to ensure it meets your requirements.

By following these steps and considering the key factors mentioned above, you can choose the right capacitor that meets the specific needs of your circuit or electronic system. If you have further questions or specific requirements, feel free to ask for more detailed guidance.

How to Order Capacitors Online with Lower Price

Ordering capacitors online at a lower price involves a few strategies to help you find cost-effective options without compromising on quality. Here are some tips to help you purchase capacitors online at a lower price:

Tips for Ordering Capacitors Online at a Lower Price:

  1. Compare Prices from Multiple Suppliers:

    • Check prices for capacitors across various online retailers and suppliers to find the best deals.
    • Utilize price comparison websites or tools to compare prices quickly.
  2. Look for Discounts and Promotions:

    • Keep an eye out for discounts, promotions, and sales on capacitor websites or through online retailers.
    • Subscribe to newsletters or follow social media accounts of suppliers for updates on sales and promotions.
  3. Buy in Bulk:

    • Purchase capacitors in bulk quantities if you frequently use them in your projects to benefit from volume discounts.
    • Bulk orders typically result in lower prices per unit.
  4. Consider Alternative Brands and Suppliers:

    • Explore alternative brands and suppliers that offer capacitors with similar specifications at lower prices.
    • Keep an eye out for lesser-known brands that provide quality components at competitive prices.
  5. Check for Clearance Sales and Overstock Items:

    • Browse clearance sections on supplier websites for discounted capacitors that are being phased out or overstocked.
    • Clearance sales often offer significant discounts on electronic components.
  6. Utilize Online Marketplaces and Auction Sites:

    • Explore online marketplaces and auction sites where sellers may offer capacitors at competitive prices.
    • Ensure you are dealing with reputable sellers to avoid counterfeit or low-quality products.
  7. Subscribe to Online Component Distributors:

    • Subscribe to newsletters or create accounts on online component distributors' websites to receive notifications about sales and discounts.
    • Some distributors offer exclusive deals to their subscribers.
  8. Consider Generic or Unbranded Capacitors:

    • Generic or unbranded capacitors can sometimes offer similar performance at a lower cost compared to well-known brands.
    • Ensure that the generic capacitors meet your required specifications and quality standards.
  9. Take Advantage of Special Deals and Coupons:

    • Look for special deals, coupon codes, or promotional offers that provide additional savings on capacitor purchases.
    • Search for online coupons or promotional codes that can be applied during checkout.
  10. Check for Free Shipping and Shipping Discounts:

  • Consider purchasing from suppliers that offer free shipping or discounted rates for bulk orders to lower overall costs.
  • Factor in shipping costs when comparing prices from different suppliers.

By implementing these tips and strategies, you can find capacitors online at competitive prices while ensuring that you receive quality components for your projects. Remember to prioritize the required specifications and quality standards when making your purchase decision.

FAQs about Choosing Capacitors

1. What Is The Most Accurate Capacitor

The accuracy of a capacitor is usually measured by its capacitance tolerance, which indicates the maximum permissible difference between the stated value and the actual measured value of the capacitance. In general, capacitors with tighter tolerance ratings are considered more accurate. Here is a breakdown of some capacitor types based on their accuracy:

Types of Capacitors Based on Accuracy:

  1. Ceramic Capacitors:

    • Class 1 Ceramic Capacitors: These capacitors have very high accuracy and are typically available with tolerances such as ±1%, ±2%, or even ±0.1%.
    • Class 2 Ceramic Capacitors: While Class 1 ceramics are highly accurate, Class 2 ceramics have a wider tolerance range typically ranging from ±5% to ±20%.
  2. Film Capacitors:

    • Polypropylene Film Capacitors: Known for their high accuracy and stability, polypropylene film capacitors are available with tolerances ranging from ±1% to ±10%.
    • Polyester Film Capacitors: Capacitors made of polyester film generally have higher tolerances, often in the range of ±5% to ±20%.
  3. Tantalum Capacitors:

    • Solid Tantalum Capacitors: Solid tantalum capacitors are known for their high accuracy and are available with tolerances typically ranging from ±5% to ±20%.
  4. Electrolytic Capacitors:

    • Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors: These capacitors typically have higher tolerances compared to other types, with values ranging from ±20% to ±50%.
  5. Mica Capacitors:

    • Mica Capacitors: Mica capacitors offer excellent accuracy and stability, with tolerances typically ranging from ±1% to ±2%.

Factors Influencing Accuracy:

  • Temperature Stability: Capacitors with good temperature stability tend to maintain their accuracy over varying temperature ranges.
  • Manufacturing Quality: Higher quality manufacturing processes often result in more accurate capacitors.
  • Voltage and Frequency Dependency: The accuracy of capacitors might vary with voltage and frequency.

Most Accurate Capacitors:

  • Class 1 Ceramic Capacitors and Mica Capacitors are among the most accurate types available, offering tight tolerance ratings ranging from ±1% to ±2%.
  • Polypropylene Film Capacitors also provide high accuracy with tolerance values typically ranging from ±1% to ±10%.

When selecting a capacitor based on accuracy, consider the application requirements, the acceptable level of deviation from the specified value, and the importance of precision in the circuit. For high-precision applications, capacitors with tighter tolerance values are recommended to ensure accurate performance.

2. What Is The Difference Between A Capacitor and A Capacitance


  • A capacitor is an electronic component that consists of two conductive plates separated by an insulating material known as a dielectric.
  • When a voltage is applied across the plates, the capacitor stores electrical energy in the form of an electric field between the plates.
  • Capacitors are used in electronic circuits for various purposes such as energy storage, filtering, coupling, timing, and more.


  • Capacitance is a property of a capacitor that defines its ability to store electrical charge.
  • It is defined as the ratio of the amount of electric charge stored on one plate of the capacitor to the potential difference (voltage) between the plates.
  • Capacitance is measured in the unit of farads (F).


  1. Physical vs. Property:

    • A capacitor is a physical component consisting of conductive plates and a dielectric material, while capacitance is a property that quantifies the ability of a capacitor to store charge.
  2. Component vs. Measurement:

    • Capacitor is the physical device placed within a circuit, while capacitance is the measurement of the capacitor's ability to store charge.
  3. Implementation vs. Concept:

    • Capacitor is the practical implementation of capacitive effects within a circuit, while capacitance is the theoretical concept describing this property of the capacitor.

In summary, a capacitor is the physical electronic component used to store electrical energy, while capacitance is the property of that component which quantifies its ability to store charge in relation to the applied voltage.

3. Is it OK to Use A Higher Capacitance Capacitor

Using a higher capacitance capacitor than required in a circuit can have both positive and negative implications. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether it is okay to use a higher capacitance capacitor:

Advantages of Using a Higher Capacitance Capacitor:

  1. Improved Filtering: A higher capacitance capacitor can provide better filtering of AC signals and stabilize voltage levels, particularly in power supply circuits.
  2. Increased Energy Storage: Higher capacitance capacitors can store more energy, which may be beneficial in applications requiring larger energy reserves.
  3. Better Decoupling: Using a higher capacitance capacitor for decoupling can help reduce noise and ensure stable operation in sensitive circuits.

Potential Issues with Using a Higher Capacitance Capacitor:

  1. Size and Cost: Higher capacitance capacitors are generally larger and more expensive. Using a significantly larger capacitor may not be feasible due to size constraints or cost considerations.
  2. Response Time: In circuits requiring precise timing or fast response, using a higher capacitance capacitor may affect the circuit's response time negatively.
  3. Ripple Current and Voltage Ratings: Using a capacitor with significantly higher capacitance than required may lead to issues with ripple current handling or exceeding voltage ratings.
  4. Resonance and Stability: In certain circuits, using a higher capacitance capacitor can alter the circuit’s frequency response, potentially causing unintended resonant effects or instability.

Considerations for Using a Higher Capacitance Capacitor:

  1. Check Specifications: Ensure that the circuit can handle the increased capacitance without exceeding voltage ratings or other critical specifications.
  2. Space and Layout: Confirm that the larger capacitor will fit within the available space and does not interfere with other components or signal paths.
  3. Testing and Validation: Test the circuit thoroughly with the higher capacitance capacitor to verify its performance and ensure that it functions as intended.
  4. Consultation: Consulting with an electronics engineer or expert can provide valuable insights into the potential effects of using a higher capacitance capacitor in a specific circuit.

In summary, while using a higher capacitance capacitor can offer benefits in certain scenarios, careful consideration of size, cost, circuit performance, and specifications is crucial to determine whether it is appropriate for your application.

4. What Happens If You Use a Bigger Capacitor Than the Recommended One

Using a capacitor that is larger than the one recommended for a particular circuit can have several implications, both positive and negative. Here are some potential effects of using a bigger capacitor than the recommended value:

Effects of Using a Bigger Capacitor:

  1. Improved Filtering and Stability:

    • A larger capacitor can provide better filtering of AC signals and stability in power supply circuits.
    • It can help smooth out voltage fluctuations and provide more effective noise suppression.
  2. Slower Response Time:

    • In circuits where timing is critical, using a bigger capacitor can result in slower response times due to increased charge and discharge times.
  3. Size and Space Constraints:

    • Larger capacitors physically take up more space, which might be an issue in compact designs or where space is limited.
  4. Higher Cost:

    • Larger capacitors are often more expensive, so using a bigger capacitor can increase the overall cost of the project.
  5. Exceeding Voltage Ratings:

    • Using a significantly larger capacitor may lead to voltages exceeding the capacitor's maximum rated voltage, potentially causing damage to the capacitor or the circuit.
  6. Ripple Current Handling:

    • Bigger capacitors may have different ripple current handling capabilities. Using a capacitor with a much higher capacitance could lead to issues with ripple current.
  7. Resonance and Stability Concerns:

    • A larger capacitor can affect the circuit's resonance frequency and stability, potentially leading to unintended oscillations or instability.


  1. Check Voltage Ratings:

    • Ensure that the rated voltage of the larger capacitor is sufficient for the circuit to avoid damaging the component or the circuit itself.
  2. Consider Space Constraints:

    • Ensure that the physical size of the larger capacitor fits within the design constraints of the circuit board or enclosure.
  3. Test and Validate:

    • Test the circuit with the larger capacitor to ensure that it functions correctly and does not introduce any undesirable effects.
  4. Consult Experts:

    • If in doubt, consult with electronics engineers or experts to assess the potential implications of using a larger capacitor in your specific application.

In conclusion, while using a larger capacitor can offer benefits such as improved filtering and stability, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks such as slower response times, higher costs, size constraints, and voltage ratings to determine if it is the right choice for your circuit.