Capacitors in parallel question

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 19, 2011
I am a bit stumped by this capacitor configuration… It just doesn’t look right, but maybe I am missing some purpose for doing this... I have two capacitors in parallel. C1=12000uF/25V (polyester film) C2=4.7uF/100V (Low ESR Electolytic). The power source is 12V DC (not sure if that matters or not in this case). Just looking at these two capacitors their uF and voltage numbers seem so far apart from each other I can’t understand what the intent of putting them in parallel could be? I am wondering if there is some common reason that I am not aware of that these two seemingly diverse capacitors would be combined in parallel into a circuit?
I’m not sure if I am using this formula correctly but here is what I calculated:
C(equivalent)=Q1/V + Q2/V
C(equivalent)=12000/25V + 4.7/100V
C(equivalent)=48000/100V + 4.7/100
However, is 100V even possible since one of the capacitors is only 25V….

Thanks in advance for any help...


Joined Apr 5, 2008

If you put capacitors parallel, the capacitance values can be aded.
The voltage however is taken from the lowest voltage rating of the capacitors.
So the capacitance is 12000 + 4.7 = 12004.7 μF
And the voltage is 25 Volts.



Joined Nov 30, 2010
Here's the easy explanation: Big electrolytics don't work well at high frequencies. Little poly-films and ceramics conduct at a higher range of frequencies. One of each is an insurance policy.


Joined Jun 7, 2009
sometimes, when you are tuning the frequency response of a circuit, it is easy to mount the largest whole value component, then fine tune with what might be in this case parallel values.