Capacitor Polarity is an important point to be considered during the connections. There are various capacitors, some of them are ‘polarized’ and some are classified under the category of ‘non-polarized’. Both types possess ‘two terminals’. The difference between these two types of capacitors is very simple. If the capacitors considered are polarized then the terminals classified are referred to as ‘Anode’ and ‘Cathode’. These must be connected based on the supply’s polarity. If the capacitors considered are non-polarized. These capacitors can be connected without any consideration of polarity.
Capacitors are initially classified based on the value of capacitance. If the capacitance is fixed these are classified as “Fixed Capacitors”. If the capacitance is variable then these are classified as “Variable Capacitors”. These fixed ones are further classified into ‘Polarized’ and ‘Non-Polarized’ capacitors. Each type of capacitor is chosen based on the requirement of capacitance.
What is Capacitor Polarity?
A capacitor that consists of the terminals which possess certain voltage values that is either positive or negative. This type of terminal’s classification leads to the determination of the capacitor with polarity or without polarity.
The above symbolic representation is also known as Capacitor Polarity Schematic.
How is the Polarity of a Capacitor Determined?
There are multiple ways of determining the polarities of the capacitors. One of them is ‘Labeling’ the capacitors.
- Certain capacitors have variation in the height of the terminals.
- On Non-Polarized it is mentioned as ‘NP’ and ‘BP’.
- Some are labeled with ‘Positive sign’ on it. In some cases, arrows play a vital role in identifying the polarity of the capacitors.
The above are some of the ways of determining Capacitor Polarity. The terminal with the postitive polarity is known as Anode and other terminal is Cathode.
These are the most widely preferred capacitors because of its ‘small sizes’. Further, when we require a capcaitor which has larger capacity to storage charges these ceramic ones are preferred. This component is designed by using the pair of electrodes for conduction. This pair is separated by the medium of non conducting ceramic material which is referred to as Dielectric. These are the set of capacitors that belongs to the category of non-polarized capacitors.
Hence this doesn’t possess any polarity. It provides the flexibility of connecting this capacitor in the circuit.
Even these capacitors are designed without polarities. Based on the construction these are further classified into various types. These types also don’t possess any polarity.
The above capacitors discussed are considered to be the ‘Capacitor without Polarity’. The determination of these capacitors is done based on the markings. The presence of Stripe indicates that a particular terminal as a negative one. In the type of ‘Axial’, an arrow indication is provided to determine the negative terminal presence in the capacitor. This also states the charge flow direction in the respective capacitor.
if you could have observed multiple capacitor some capacitors do have their positive terminal longer in comparison with the negative terminal. The Tantalum Capacitor that belongs to the category of Electrolytic Capacitors its terminals can be determined with the plus sign indication present on it.
Non-polarized capacitors can be connected without any trouble of identifying the terminals before connecting it. But the polarized ones must be connected with the attention because it may lead to the damage of the circuitry. Even it results in the Over Heating of the circuit.
Capacitor Polarity Markings
Markings made on the capacitors help identify the polarity.
- Polarity on the Big Capacitor.
The ‘plus sign’ indication near the terminal indicates that the respective terminal is positive. So, it is considered as Anode. The other terminal has to be treated as Cathode.
- Capacitor polarity can be identified based on arrow representation.
The arrow pointing towards the terminal is considered to be negative.
This is the process followed in ‘Capacitor Polarity Identification’ that can be done. But there must be some identification for the Non-polarized Capacitors. In case of Non-polarized capacitors it is marked as NP on the capacitor for example NPA or NPR where NP stands for Non-polarized,A stand for axial and R stands for Radial.
Hence there exists various ways of determining the capacitor polarity. There may be certain indications marked on it during the manufacturing time. Certain capacitors are even marked with the bar on it. Still, the care must be taken while fixations of it in the circuitry. Which of the above capacitors do you prefer for high voltage applications polarized or non-polarized ones?