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ElectroComponent Science and Technology
Volume 2 (1975), Issue 2, Pages 109-114

Heat Dissipation and Ripple Current Rating in Electrolytic Capacitors

College of Engineegng, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq

Received 24 September 1974

Copyright © 1975 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ripple current rating in electrolytic capacitors is limited by the maximum allowable temperature rise inside the capacitor. The temperature rise is determined by the I2 R losses inside the capacitor and the efficiency of heat flow from the interior to the surrounding. The ripple current rating can be extended by either reducing the tan δ of the capacitor or by increasing the efficiency of heat flow to ambient.

The heat flow is determined by the thermal characteristics of the capacitor surface and thermal conductivity of the medium separating the capacitor winding from the surrounding.

In this article a mathematical analysis for the heat flow in capacitors is given. The effects of various parameters are examined and methods of extending the ripple current rating are discussed.