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Welcome to this installment of EE Classroom on Capacitors.

Voltage applied then energy stored. The function of a capacitor feels simple, but its role in power supplies is vital—from the basic to the mission-critical, the latter of which involves careful consideration around longevity, high current handling, low ESR, SWaP (Space, Weight, and Power), and more. Finding the suitable capacitor at the level of reliability required is no simple task. So let us help. 

In this classroom, you can build your knowledge base of capacitors by starting with a walk-through of the various capacitors and their properties. Catch up on complementary capacitor content with basics around TVS, surge voltages, and ways to protect and filter. With that foundation, move on to tips on how to select a capacitor for your application. From there, arm yourself with more need-to-know and what-to-watch-for info on ESR, parasitic capacitance, filtering, ESL, and more. 

Aimee Kalnoskas

Editor in Chief, EE World Online

Capacitors Classroom sponsored by: 

DC-link • Parasitics • EMI

Parasitic capacitance, inductance, and displacement current

Safety capacitors for EMI filtering and voltage isolation

Measuring ESR and ESL of dc-link capacitors

DC link, energy storage, and pulse power capacitors

Impedance analyzers work better than LCR meters when it comes to sizing up the super-low impedance and inductance.

DC link capacitors, the holdup capacitors for energy storage in AC/DC power supplies, and pulse power capacitors.

Circuit design for high frequencies means that additional attention must be put into the design, especially with respect to PCB layout.

A reivew of capacitors for filtering EMI, ac power lines, antenna coupling, and for providing voltage isolation in DC/DC converters.

TVs • Power Supply Protection 

Basics of power supply self protection

Automotive load dump TVS

Transient Voltage Suppressor Diode: What is it?

Surge voltage protection considerations

Some protection features are built into most of these units to ensure that they do not “self-destruct” or damage associated circuitry.

Self-contained automotive electronics systems present a unique challenge requiring a different type of transient voltage suppressor.

Unmanaged surge voltages can cause disruption or damage to systems or even danger for users.

A silicon TVS is a circuit protection component that either attenuates or filters a transient voltage spike.

Featured Resources:

Specifying a Capacitor to Meet MIL-STD-704 / DO-160 Power Hold-Up Requirements White Paper 

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Hi-Rel Capacitor

Maximize SWaP Savings and Performance with Low ESR Capacitors

[Webinar] Hybrid Capacitors for Hi-Rel Applications

Types • How to Select

Types of capacitors: Part 1

Practical guide to capacitors

Types of capacitors: Part 2

How to select a capacitor

Learn about nominal capacitance, working voltage, tolerance, working temperature, temperature coefficient, and other properties of a capacitor.

How to select a capacitor for a circuit and the numerical codes used to indicate capacitance, tolerance, voltage, and more.

Learn the basic concepts of capacitor and how it responds to DC and AC signals.

Learn about paper, mica, plastic film, glass, ceramic, electrolyte, semiconductor and variable capacitors.

Evans Capacitor Company is a privately held, AS9100/ISO 9001 certified, ITAR registered, small business headquartered in East Providence, RI. We develop and manufacture advanced capacitors for aerospace, defense, and other demanding applications. EVANSCAPS are specified for demanding aerospace, defense, and energy exploration applications including radar, laser, power hold-up/bridge power, downhole drilling, electronic warfare and many more. They replace standard military capacitors, or augment batteries and power supplies where size, weight, reliability and quality are important factors of component selection.

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