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Top 10 Types of Capacitors You Need to Know About


Capacitors are used in virtually every area of electronics for performing a variety of different tasks. A capacitor consists of two or more parallel conductive metal plates which are not connected or touching each other. It is a two terminal electrical component that is used for storing electric energy in an electric field. A capacitor, sometimes referred to as a condenser, is a simple device for storing energy. It acts like a small rechargeable battery that stores energy in the form of electric charge.

However, there are many different types of capacitors including electrolytic, ceramic, tantalum, Silver Mica, Super, film Mylar capacitor and much more.

In this guide, we will be discussing different types of capacitors:

1. Polyester Film capacitor
These polyester film capacitors (Mylar capacitors) are considered to be relatively cheap form of capacitors, but can offer a close level of tolerance capacitance when needed. The dielectric sandwich is rolled together, forming tubular shape further.

2. Ceramic capacitor-
It is the one that is used in many applications from audio to RF. The ceramic material acts as a dielectric and is a fixed value capacitor. It is one of the most widely used types of capacitor in electronics equipment.

3. Electrolytic capacitor-
It is the type of capacitor that’s polarised. They can offer high capacitance values typically above 1uF and are most widely used for low-frequency applications, power supplies, decoupling and audio coupling applications because they have a frequency limit of around 100kHz.

4. Tantalum capacitor-
Tantalum capacitors are also polarised just like electrolytic capacitors and offer very high capacitance level as per their volume. Being intolerant to reverse biased configuration, it often results in exploding when placed under stress. They should also not be subjected to high ripple currents or excess voltage.

5. Silver Mica Capacitor-
They are not much widely used these days, but they still offer high level of stability and accuracy when space is not an issue. They can offer very high levels of performance that meets the needs of the particular requirement.

6. Supercapacitor-
Also known as supercap or ultracap, these capacitors have very large values of capacitance of up-to several thousand Farads. Having exceedingly high level of capacitance, these capacitors are widely used. These may also be known as double layer capacitors due to the way they are constructed.

7. Glass capacitors-
As the name itself implies, this capacitor type uses glass as a dielectric. It’s quite expensive but offers very high level of performance in terms of extremely low loss of energy. The supply of glass capacitors is limited to a small number of manufacturers and suppliers.

8. Polycarbonate capacitors-
The polycarbonate capacitors have been widely used when reliability and performance are critical. The polycarbonate film is very stable and enables high tolerance capacitors, which will hold their capacitance value over the time. In addition to this, they have a low dissipation factor and they remain stable over a wide temperature range.

Mylar Capacitors are the cheapest and one of the most widely used one among all others. Although, there are some other capacitors also, these capacitors are irreplaceable when used for some specific applications. For instance, al low frequencies, Mylar capacitors can also be put into use with alternating current systems. This configuration, however, can be limited because of the high levels of power loss these capacitors get to experience at temperatures above 257°F.

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