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Capacitors in Series

When two capacitors are connected in series, the same charge is present on each of them and the effective capacitance of the circuit will always be less than any one of the two capacitors taken alone. The effective capacitance, C, of a circuit with two capacitors, C1 and C2, connected in series is given by:

1 / C = 1 / C1 + 1 / C2

Similarly, where three capacitors (C1, C2, and C3) are connected in series, the effective capacitance of the combined circuit will be given by:

1 / C = 1 / C1 + 1 / C2 + 1 / C3

In the case of two capacitors, the formula can be more conveniently re-arranged as follows:

C = (C1 x C2) / (C1 + C2)

This can be remembered as "product over sum".

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Page last modified on July 21, 2011, at 03:52 PM