A Comprehensive Guide on Circuit Board Capacitors

A Comprehensive Guide on Circuit Board Capacitors

Circuit board capacitors are essential for any electronic device, providing energy storage and electric current flow.

If you’re a beginner in the world of electronics, understanding the different types of circuit board capacitors and how they work can be confusing. By the end of this guide, you should better understand circuit board capacitors and how they can be used in your electronics projects.

Let’s take a look!

Table of Contents

What Are Circuit Board Capacitors?

Circuit board capacitors are small components on a circuit board that store electricity. They look like small metal cans with two legs sticking out.

Circuit Board Capacitors
Circuit Board Capacitors

Electromagnetic fields between metal plates store energy in capacitors. The capacitor releases energy as needed. This helps the circuit work smoothly and prevents damage from power surges.

What Does a Capacitor on a Circuit Board Do?

A capacitor acts as a little battery on a circuit board.

It’s a battery that stores electricity until it’s needed. The use of capacitors aids in the efficient flow of electricity across the board. In addition, it can assist eliminate distractions and interruption.

To sum up, a capacitor is crucial to the proper functioning of electronics.

What Are the Types of Circuit Board Capacitors?

Numerous varieties of capacitors are available for use in circuit boards. Here are some of the most common ones you might come across:

  • Ceramic Capacitors:
Ceramic Capacitors
Ceramic Capacitors

Ceramic capacitors are small and inexpensive but don’t store as much energy as other types.

  • Tantalum Capacitors:
    Comparable to ceramic capacitors, tantalum capacitors are employed frequently in high-performance circuits due to their increased energy storage capacity.
  • Electrolytic Capacitors:
    Large electrolytic capacitors can store energy but come at a high price.
  • Film Capacitors:
    Film capacitors are good for high-frequency applications and are often used in radio equipment.
  • Supercapacitors:

Supercapacitors are like a combination of a battery and a capacitor. They can store a lot of energy and release it quickly.

  • Mica Capacitors:
    Mica capacitors are employed frequently in high-precision electronic devices due to their reliability and consistency.
  • Variable Capacitors:
Variable Capacitors
Variable Capacitors

Capacitors with variable capacitance are commonly employed in radio tuning circuits because of their versatility.

Each type of capacitor has its strengths and weaknesses, and engineers choose the best one for each situation.

Why Is a Capacitor Used in Breadboard?

Breadboards use capacitors to ensure the electricity going through the circuit is steady and stable. They help the circuit work smoothly and not be interrupted by sudden electricity surges.

Think of it as adding a bike stabilizer to prevent wobbling and falling over. Capacitors help keep the circuit steady so it can do its job properly.

How Do I Choose a Capacitor for PCB?

There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a capacitor for a PCB.

How Do I Choose a Capacitor for PCB
How Do I Choose a Capacitor for PCB

Here are some tips:

  • Look at the Capacitance Value: 
    The capacitance value is the most crucial consideration when selecting a capacitor for your printed circuit board. This quantity can be expressed in units of farads, microfarads, or picofarads. How much energy the capacitor can store is displayed.
  • Check the Voltage Rating:
    The maximum allowed voltage is also crucial. This value reveals the maximum safe voltage for the capacitor.
  • Consider the Type of Capacitor: 
    Capacitors come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered. High-frequency applications benefit from ceramic capacitors, while high-voltage applications benefit more from electrolytic capacitors.

How to Test Circuit Board Capacitors?

Testing a circuit board capacitor can be easy! Follow these simple steps:

  • First, ensure the circuit board is unplugged and disconnected from any power sources.
  • Check the capacitor’s capacitance with a multimeter.
  • Place the two probes of your multimeter on the terminals of the capacitor, and switch it to the capacitance measurement mode.
  • If the capacitor’s capacitance falls within the allowed range, it’s fine to use. It’s possible that you’ll have to replace the capacitor if its capacitance is too high or low.
  • The multimeter can also be used to check for continuity. Connect the probes to the positive and negative terminals by touching them. The capacitor is functional if and only if there is continuity. A new capacitor may be required if continuity testing reveals its absence.
  • Always make sure to dispose of old or damaged capacitors safely.

How to Solder Capacitors on a Circuit Board?

How to Solder Capacitors on a Circuit Board
How to Solder Capacitors on a Circuit Board

Soldering capacitors on a circuit board is like gluing two things together. But instead of using regular glue, we use a special glue called solder.

  • First, make sure your soldering iron is heated up. You can tell if it’s ready by looking at the tip. If it’s hot, it will look shiny.
  • The capacitor should then be positioned on the circuit board. Tweezers can be used to keep it from moving about as you work.
  • Solder the capacitor to the board by touching the iron directly to the metal contacts on both the capacitor and the board. Then, bring the solder’s tip up to the spot where the iron is resting.
  • The solder will melt and stick the capacitor to the circuit board.
  • Let the solder cool and harden.

That’s it! You’ve soldered a capacitor to a circuit board!

Where to Buy Circuit Board Capacitors?

You can buy circuit capacitors from any electronic component supplier. Some local electronics stores may also carry circuit capacitors.

Considerations when Searching for Circuit Board Capacitors near Me

Circuit Board Capacitors near Me
Circuit Board Capacitors near Me

When it comes to finding circuit capacitors near you, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Check the type of capacitor needed: 
    Capacitors come in a wide variety of forms; some common ones are ceramic, tantalum, electrolytic, and film. Make sure you know which type you need before searching.
  • Consider the voltage and capacitance ratings: 
    Capacitors are rated in terms of their voltage tolerance and the amount of charge they can store.
  • Look for a reliable supplier: 
    When searching for circuit capacitors near you, find a reliable supplier who can provide high-quality components at a fair price.

With these factors in mind, you should be able to locate suitable PCB capacitors for your electronic projects.


Circuit board capacitors are important for electronic devices to work properly. They store electrical energy and help control the flow of electricity.

Find capacitors for your circuit board by knowing what kind and size you need for your project. Always be safe when working with electronics.


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