# Capacitor

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Lightfire, Oct 13, 2011.

1. ### Lightfire Thread Starter Well-Known Member

Oct 5, 2010
690
21
Hello everybody,

I found out recently that a capacitor stores electric charge, which is interesting.

I am wondering how much voltage and current does a 1 microfarad capacitor can store. How about for a 220 microfarad?

Is there any formula on how to see how much voltage and current does a specific capacitor can charge.

Thank you very much everybody!

2. ### ErnieM AAC Fanatic!

Apr 24, 2011
7,434
1,625
Sorry, no formula per say. Real capacitors you can buy all have a voltage rating for the largest voltage you can put on them. It is best never to get too close to that rating, so if say you expect to put 100 volts on a cap buy one rated for 200 volts.

Same with current, if you are running lots of current all the time thru a cap check if it is rated for that much current.

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3. ### kubeek AAC Fanatic!

Sep 20, 2005
4,686
805
A capacitor stores energy equal to 0.5*C*V^2 [joules], so a 1uF cap charged to 50V will store 0.5*0.000,001*50*50 J = 0.00125 J
Energy of one joule is equal to power of 1W produced over 1 second.

As for current, that is limited only by the cap's internal resistance, reffered to as ESR - equivalent series resistance. If you short it, the initial current will obviously be V/ESR, if you discharge it in a load R, the current will be V/(R+ESR).

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4. ### Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
5,151
1,266

Most notable ones are:
$Capacitance=\frac{Charge}{Voltage}\\
\text{and}
Energy\ Stored=W=\frac12\cdot C \cdot V^2
$

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5. ### Lightfire Thread Starter Well-Known Member

Oct 5, 2010
690
21
Thank you very much for your time, ErnieM.

So, if there is a voltage and current rating, what is farad rating for?

Thank you everybody and I hope for an answer.

6. ### crutschow Expert

Mar 14, 2008
13,472
3,361
If you look at the equations, (which apparently you haven't) you will see that the "farad rating" capacitance (C) is how much energy (charge) the capacitor stores.