Capacitors in Collection – Construct Digital Circuits

If you join capacitors in sequence, you join them one after the opposite. And you’ll consider them as one capacitor with a worth that’s at all times decrease than the bottom worth.

Capacitors in series

For instance, for those who join three 300 µF in sequence, the mixed capacitance turns into 100 µF. This may be helpful for getting a selected capacitor worth that you simply don’t presently have in your element choice.

How one can Calculate the Worth of Capacitors in Collection

Calculating capacitors in sequence is completed in the identical means as you calculate resistors in parallel.

That is the system for calculating the full capacitance of three capacitors linked in sequence:

frac{1}{C_{Total}} = frac{1}{C_{1}} + frac{1}{C_{2}} + frac{1}{C_{3}}

To seek out CTOTAL you want to flip either side, and also you’ll find yourself with this:

C_{Total} = frac{1}{frac{1}{C_{1}} + frac{1}{C_{2}} + frac{1}{C_{3}}}

This can be a little bit much less intuitive than calculating capacitors in parallel. However for those who use equal values for all of the capacitors, the end result turns into the worth of 1, divided by the variety of capacitors. So for those who for instance place three 330 nF capacitors in sequence, you’ll find yourself with 330 nF / 3 = 110 nF.

You may place as many capacitors in sequence as you need. Simply add extra C’s to the system above.

The truth that the capacitance turns into decrease as you add extra capacitors is sensible when you consider how capacitors work: A capacitor is mainly simply two metallic plates, positioned shut to one another, with an insulating materials in between.

Inside the capacitor

The bigger the house between the plates, the decrease the capacitance. So if you place two (or extra) capacitors in sequence, it’s roughly the identical as having more room between the primary and final plates.

Inside two capacitors in series
Inside two capacitors positioned in sequence

Voltage Throughout Capacitors in Collection

The voltage throughout capacitors linked in sequence shall be divided between the person capacitors. If you realize that there’s 5V throughout all of the capacitors, it signifies that the sum of the voltages throughout every particular person capacitor shall be 5V.

Nevertheless it’s laborious to say what the worth for every capacitor is because it depends upon its capacitance, inner resistance, and the way a lot it’s been charged.

This isn’t particular to capacitors. Any sequence connection of parts can have the full voltage divided among the many parts. I like to recommend studying up on the fundamentals of voltage and present for those who’re not snug with this idea.

Why Use Capacitors Linked in Collection?

The most typical motive for connecting capacitors in sequence amongst hobbyists is just that you simply don’t have the precise capacitor worth wanted. By connecting a number of capacitors in sequence, you may obtain different values.

Let’s say you’ve gotten constructed the blinking gentle circuit, and discover that the LED is blinking too slowly. You used 100μF for C1 within the schematic under, and that’s the one worth you’ve gotten in your element package.

Basic Blinking light Circuit

By including one other 100 µF in sequence with C1, the full resistance turns into 50 µF. And your gentle blinks with twice the pace as a substitute.

Usually, you by no means want capacitors linked in sequence except you want to obtain a capacitance worth that you simply don’t have at hand.


The system for calculating the worth of capacitors in sequence turns into simpler for those who use the identical worth for all capacitors. Then the end result turns into the worth of 1, divided by the variety of capacitors. Ex 5 1000 µF capacitors in sequence turn out to be 1000 µF / 5 = 200 µF.

You normally solely place capacitors in sequence for those who want a selected worth that you simply don’t have obtainable.

Extra Capacitors Tutorials


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