Tech Blog



What Is a Capacitor?

A capacitor is a passive electronic component that stores an electric charge and can be either polarized or non-polarized. The construction of a capacitor includes two conductors (plates) separated by an electrical insulator called a dielectric. The plates accumulate an electric charge when connected to a power source. One plate accumulates a positive charge, and the other plate accumulates a negative charge. Capacitors are offered in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, which offer different performance characteristics. This article focuses on the types of capacitors offered by Tecate Group.

Capacitor Applications

Capacitors are used in a multitude of applications in electronic circuits to enable stable and reliable operation of the circuits. The most common uses of capacitors in circuits are for filtering, coupling, and decoupling:

Conductive Polymer

Capacitor Operating Considerations

Capacitors come in a multitude of formats, shapes, and sizes, with a variety of performance characteristics. Choosing the right capacitor for an application is essential to the stable operation of the circuit.

In terms of voltage, it is important to ensure that the maximum circuit voltage will not exceed the capacitor’s rated voltage. If the circuit voltage exceeds the rated voltage of the capacitor, the capacitor may short-circuit internally.

Also, the designer must calculate the required capacitance value for a circuit, taking into consideration both the maximum charge to be stored and the applied voltage. There are mathematical equations that circuit designers use to calculate the capacitance required for a circuit, and it is important to ensure that the designer also considers the capacitance tolerance of the capacitor selected.

Finally, while many capacitors are non-polarized, and so do not have positive/negative terminal designations, electrolytic capacitors are polarized and must be placed in the circuit with correct polarity orientation.

Tecate Product Offerings

At Tecate Group, we offer several varieties of capacitors. They are grouped by the material from which they are constructed.

Feature Ceramic Film Electrolytic
Aluminum Tantalum Polymer
Voltage 4V–6,000V 16V–3,000V 4V–450V 2.5V–50V 2.5V–100V
Capacitance 0.1pF–100uF 0.001uF–25uF 0.1uF–68,000uF 0.1uF–680uF 1.7uF–3,500uF
Polarized No No Yes Yes Yes
Life Long Long Limited Long Long
Cost Low Low Low High High
Advantages Small size; low cost Quality/accuracy Large capacitance; high voltage Small size; reliability Long life; low ESR
Disadvantages Poor temperature characteristics Large size High leakage current; high ESR; limited life CostCost

Tecate’s Experience

Tecate Group was founded in 1975 as a capacitor manufacturing company, and as ultracapacitors and hybrid capacitors have been developed and come into prominent usage over the past 20 years, Tecate Group has supplied millions of cells and modules to companies across a wide variety of markets and applications. Our engineering and design teams are based at our company headquarters in San Diego, California, USA. We offer both standard and customized cells and modules. Our products are manufactured at our partner facilities in Asia-Pacific and Mexico.

Contact Us

Let us take on your most challenging power-storage concerns and develop a solution that works harder and lives longer than your average battery. Fill out our design form today to submit your application for a custom capacitor solution. You can also reach out at 619-393-3874 to speak with our engineers right away.