Capacitor tutorial (how they work & how to use them) Electronics crash course #7

Learn about how Capacitors work, how you can wire Capacitors, types of capacitors, and uses of capacitors in this Capacitor tutorial and electronics crash course. Also learn about capacitors with raspberry pi. And about capacitors with Arduino. Capacitors are like micro batteries, they can store electrical charge. However, unlike batteries they can charge and discharge extremely quickly. Capacitors are literally built by separating 2 metal plates by a small air gap. Watch the video to learn more about capacitors

You’ve probably heard of capacitors in some news form- super capacitors

In essence that’s what they are. They are a type of micro battery. Just like water tanks store energy, capacitors store electrical charge. However Unline batteries, capacitors can be charged and also discharged extremely quickly with much longer lifespans. One of the reasons they can do this is smaller capacities. Capacitors usually store small amounts of energy which is one reason for their fast charging speeds. Super capacitors (large capacity capacitors) are hype cause they have large capacities but still retain super fast charging. We can measure this capacity using the the unit Farad.

Capacitors in essence are 2 electrical plates separated by a small gap. It’s literally that simple.
Using this equation we can see that as we increase the surface area of the plates or decrease the distance between the plates, the capacitance increases. We can also add a non conductive material between the capacitor plates to increase the capacitance.

Modern Capacitors will roll these long plates into a cylindrical shape to maximize surface area.

Types-
Foil Capacitors- Just like the ones mentioed above. They are sealed to prevent materials getting between the foils. No technical lifespan
Electrolytic- Cheaper alternatives to foil and much more common. Typical cylindrical capacitors like the ones mentioned above except that a electrolytic fluid replaces one of the plates. These capacitors have a polarity and a lifespan.
Ceramic- Typically for higher voltages than electrolytic. No polarity and higher lifespan than electrolytic. However, they have smaller capacities than electrolytic and aren’t great for audio usages
Tantalum- Look like ceramic, but have a higher capacity and are polarized

Uses-
Stablize power supplies- The capacitors act like little power sources and can stabilize power gaps.
We can use this property to convert AC voltage into DC voltage. Using a simple rectifier we can chop the negative cycles of AC voltage and using a capacitor we can stablize the voltage. The term for this is smoothing

Capacitors can also filter out high and low audio frequencies in audio sources. That’s why they’re so common in amplifier circuits

Filter- The capacitor is only DC conductive in series circuits while its charging, so you can use this as a DC voltage filter.

Timer

Alternatively you also use the capacitor as a timer to activate a circuit only when it has been charged to a certain level.

Demo- Fade out light- power supply filter

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