Polarized electrolytic cap safe for Charge Pump?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by denos, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. denos

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    Disclaimer: I'm new to electronics as (Arduino hobbyist)

    Is it safe to use standard polarized electrolytic caps in a charge pump?

    I've searched but can't find anything to indicate it's a problem. Is there something special about the operation of a charge pump that allows for current to be alternated between the +/- pins (which I interpret as a polarity reversal) without causing problems? Or is it just assumed that a designer would only use a non-polarized cap like a ceramic?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. schmitt trigger

    Active Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    In the 7660-type charge pump, it is completely OK.
  3. windoze killa

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
    It would depend on the charge pump. Some are perfectly safe to use polarised caps others aren't. If you are unsure try and get some unpolarised electrolytics.
  4. denos

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    I should clarify that I'm not using any ICs for the charge pump; 2 caps, 2 diodes and 2 pins on my Arduino to alternate the current between +/- at 1Khz. The breadboard works fine with any type of cap but the larger capacity electrolytics can source more current so they would be my preference. However, I don't want to deal with swollen / exploding caps down the line...
  5. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Well, if you can work with a simulator it should be able to tell you if the polarity changes on the caps during circuit operation.