Capacitors in Parallel

Multiple connections of capacitors act as a single equivalent capacitor. The total capacitance of this equivalent single capacitor depends both on the individual capacitors and how they are connected. There are two simple and common types of connections, called series and parallel, for which we can easily calculate the total capacitance. Capacitors may be placed in parallel for a variety of reasons. A few of the reasons are

  • Higher levels of capacitance
  • To provide an exact value which otherwise may not be available
  • To provide a distributed capacitance on a printed circuit board

Here, in the article, let us discuss more the parallel configuration of capacitors and the formula used to find the equivalent capacitance of the parallel combination of capacitors.

Capacitors In Parallel Formula

Following is the table explaining the capacitors in the parallel formula:


Parallel Capacitor Formula

The total capacitance of a set of parallel capacitors is simply the sum of the capacitance values of the individual capacitors. Theoretically, there is no limit to the number of capacitors that can be connected in parallel. But certainly, there will be practical limits depending on the application, space, and other physical limitations.

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Applications of Parallel Capacitors

By combining several capacitors in parallel, the resultant circuit will be able to store more energy as the equivalent capacitance is the sum of individual capacitances of all capacitors involved. This effect is used in the following applications.

  • DC power supplies sometimes use parallel capacitors in order to better filter the output signal and eliminate the AC ripple.
  • Energy storage capacitor banks are used for power factor correction with inductive loads.
  • Capacitive storage banks are used in the automotive industry for regenerative braking in large vehicles such as trams and hybrid cars.

Using capacitors in parallel provides additional flexibility in their use.

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