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Subject: Re: Electrolytic Capacitor, VAriation with Applied Voltage

Date: 06/22/00 at 9:25 PM
Posted by: John Dunn - Consultant
E-mail: ambertec@ieee.org
Message Posted:

In Reply to: Electrolytic Capacitor, VAriation with Applied Voltage posted by Alan Gore on 06/20/00 at 2:16 PM:

Hello, Alan.

I've never heard of any phenomenon in which the capacitance of an electrolytic capacitor would decline simpy as a consequence of the device having been operated at well below rated voltage. What I have heard of is that aluminum electrolytics (not tantalum) will decline in their ability to support their rated voltages if they're operated at voltages much lower than their given rating. That's why you have to go through a slow reformation process with aluminum electrolytic capacitors which haven't been operated at all for too long a time.

By the way, there's a really nice article on electrolytic capacitors in the June 2000 issue of PCIM - Power Electronic Systems, page 38, "Selecting Optimum Electrolytic Capacitors Requires an Understanding of Their Characterisitcs and Technology", by Theo can de Steeg, BC Components, Netherlands. It discusses a lot of properties of those components and makes some pretty good reading too.

Good luck.

John Dunn - President
Ambertec, Inc.

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