Capacitors in Sequence – Construct Digital Circuits

While you join capacitors in collection, you join them one after the opposite. And you’ll consider them as one capacitor with a price that’s all the time decrease than the bottom worth.

Capacitors in series

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

The right way to Calculate the Worth of Capacitors in Sequence

Calculating capacitors in collection is completed in the identical approach as you calculate resistors in parallel.

That is the components for calculating the full capacitance of three capacitors linked in collection:

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

To search out CTOTAL you might want to flip each 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 when you use equal values for all of the capacitors, the consequence turns into the worth of 1, divided by the variety of capacitors. So when you for instance place three 330 nF capacitors in collection, you’ll find yourself with 330 nF / 3 = 110 nF.

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

The truth that the capacitance turns into decrease as you add extra capacitors is smart 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 whenever you place two (or extra) capacitors in collection, it’s kind of the identical as having more room between the primary and final plates.

Inside two capacitors in series
Inside two capacitors positioned in collection

Voltage Throughout Capacitors in Sequence

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

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

This isn’t particular to capacitors. Any collection connection of elements can have the full voltage divided among the many elements. I like to recommend studying up on the fundamentals of voltage and present when you’re not snug with this idea.

Why Use Capacitors Linked in Sequence?

The commonest cause for connecting capacitors in collection amongst hobbyists is just that you simply don’t have the precise capacitor worth wanted. By connecting a number of capacitors in collection, you’ll be able to obtain different values.

Let’s say you could have constructed the blinking mild 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 could have in your element package.

Basic Blinking light Circuit

By including one other 100 µF in collection with C1, the full resistance turns into 50 µF. And your mild blinks with twice the pace as an alternative.

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


The components for calculating the worth of capacitors in collection turns into simpler when you use the identical worth for all capacitors. Then the consequence turns into the worth of 1, divided by the variety of capacitors. Ex 5 1000 µF capacitors in collection develop into 1000 µF / 5 = 200 µF.

You often solely place capacitors in collection when you want a selected worth that you simply don’t have obtainable.

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