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Can capacitors be wired in a series? Answered

I am pretty sure a series goes from + to - to + ext. and parallel is grouping all + and all - separately. Is it possible to wire capacitors in a series

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steveastroukBest Answer (author)2010-11-28

Yes, it increases the voltage they can handle, but reduces their capacity. Series capacitors 1/total capacitance = 1/ c1+1/c2+1/c3 etc....

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user

Reciprocal resistance is called "conductance". Does the reciprocal of capacitance have a name? Like maybe "emptynance", or something like that?

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user

Susceptance I think.

Steve

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lemonie (author)2010-11-28


Yes you can, but why do you ask?

L

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jj.inc (author)lemonie2010-11-29

Capacitors usually didn't have any output on the - I don't think, because you attach + to + to charge them and discharge them. That would mean that only one would charge, but I am wrong apparently so thanks.

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lemonie (author)jj.inc2010-11-30


You go:
+CAP-+CAP-
so you're still charging the same way.

L

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orksecurity (author)2010-11-28

If you know the formulas for combining resistors, they're exactly opposite for capacitors.

R1 and R2 in series equals R1+R2
C1 and C2 in parallel equals C1+C2

R1 and R2 in parallel equals 1/(1/R1+1/R2)
C1 and C2 in series equals 1/(1/C1+1/C2)

Hadn't thought about the effect on voltage they can handle. that's not one I've ever needed to calculate. Steve's observation makes sense, I think, but I'm not sure offhand what the formula would be. Easy enough to look up with a websearch if you need it.

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steveastrouk (author)orksecurity2010-11-28

Its not a GOOD idea to rely on them to volt share, since the capacitance can be +100% / - 50% in cheap electrolytics.

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orksecurity (author)steveastrouk2010-11-28

That was my feeling, but since it would never have occurred to me to try it...

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frollard (author)orksecurity2010-11-28

Yeah, same as how parallel lowers resistance but increases amperage allowance...

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