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Parallel and Series


Figure depicting the equivalent value of series and parallel connected capacitors.

    Entering a list of comma separated values (i.e. 123u, 1.2µ, 10µ) to find the series and parallel equivalent values.

    Connecting any number of capacitors in series or parallel will result in an equivalent capacitance. This equivalent capacitance can be used in place of a single capacitor. Although this is not commonly done (simply purchasing the correct value capacitor is less expensive and simpler to deal with) there are some reasons why doing so is advantageous.

    In a high voltage circuit, using a series connected group of capacitors distributes the applied voltage therefore preventing the capacitor from exceeding its voltage rating. Using parallel capacitors in filtering applications (particularly in power supplies and when decoupling) is advantageous as it lowers the ESR and allows you to take advantage of the characteristics that different dielectrics offer. When prototyping and you don’t have the value you need on hand, you can use a series or parallel connecter group to make the value you need.

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