Electrolytic CapacitorPublished on 24/2/2012 & updated on 15/8/2018
The stacked arrangement are rolled together and are placed in a cylindrical metal can for providing mechanical strength thus providing it with a compact and robust shape. The electrolytic capacitors due to its robust and compact design are used in various electrical appliances like in computer motherboard. They are widely used as noise filters in electronic circuits, harmonic filters in power supplies and SMPS, etc. The electrolytic capacitors are a polarised capacitor unlike other types of the capacitor so they must be connected properly in circuits with marked polarity. If we connect an electrolytic capacitor in opposite polarity in the circuit, the reverse voltageapplied across the metal foil will destroy the oxides layer formed on the anode, and thus a short circuit will occur which cause excessive current to flow through the capacitor causing heating which results in rupturing of the capacitor.
To safeguard the capacitor, it should be connected with correct polarity especially in the circuit involving high power application. An electrolytic capacitor is not suitable for frequency response above 100 kHz. It has high leakage current because of which these components become hot and rupture when used for longer duration. The component lifespan is very limited around 1000 hours, and they need to be replaced from the circuit after a fixed time. An electrolytic capacitor develops excessive heat when high frequency and high amplitude voltage signal is used due to its high internal resistance. The voltage applied across the foil should be within the limit so to avoid dielectric breakdown and to prevent heating of the capacitor due to excessive current is drawn by it. Electrolytic capacitor’s high capacitance value, small size and low-cost value is responsible for its high usage in various power appliances involving high current or low-frequency operation typically below 100KHZ applications.
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