Properties of Capacitors

Capacitors are used to store electrical energy in an electric field. It holds an electric current when a voltage is applied. The effect of the capacitor is called capacitance. The capacitors are available in different shapes and sizes.

6 Properties of Capacitors

The essential characteristics or properties of capacitors are listed below

Property 1: Capacitance

The most important property of a capacitor is the capacitance. The capacitance describes the capability of a capacitor to store electrical energy for the given value of voltage. The capacitance can be increased by increasing the effective area of the electrodes, decreasing the separation between the electrodes, increasing the insulation by using a suitable dielectric with higher permittivity or improved dipole formation.

Property 2: Working Voltage

The maximum working voltage either DC or AC that can be applied to the capacitor during the entire life of the capacitor without causing a failure is called working voltage.

Property 3: Tolerance

The tolerance value of the capacitor is the extent to which the capacitance is allowed to vary from the nominal value. The tolerance rating is expressed as plus or minus. If the capacitor of capacitance 50μF has a tolerance of ± 10%, then the capacitance will vary from 40μF to 60μF.

Property 4: Leakage Current

The dielectrics used in the capacitors are not perfect insulators. A small amount of current leaks through the dielectric, this is called leakage current.

Property 5: Working Temperature

The change in the surrounding temperature of the capacitor affects the capacitance.

The working temperature of the capacitor is between -300 C and +1250 C.

Property 6: Polarization

The voltage connected to the capacitor terminals must have the correct polarity, i.e. positive to positive and negative to negative.