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Aluminum electrolytic capacitor Recovery Voltage

Where a capacitor is once charged and discharged with both of the terminals short-circuiting and then left the terminals open for a while, a voltage across the capacitor spontaneously increases again. This is called “recovery voltage phenomenon” . The mechanism for this phenomenon can be interpreted as follows:
When charged with a voltage, the dielectric produces some electrical changes within, and then the inside of the dielectric is electrified with the opposite polarities (dielectric polarization). The dielectric polarization occurs in both ways of proceeding rapidly and slowly. When a charged capacitor was discharged until the voltage across the capacitor disappears, and then being left the terminals open, the slow polarization will discharge within the capacitor and appear as recovery voltage. (Fig. 28).
The recovery voltage changes with time as sown in Fig. 29. Its peak will appear 10 to 20 days after the terminals are opened, with gradual weakening thereafter. Larger sized capacitors (screw terminal type and snap-in type) may produce larger recovery voltage.

With a recovery voltage residing in a capacitor, carelessly short-circuiting the terminals can cause sparks to occur, which may scare workers and/or damage low-voltage operating components such as CPU’s and memories in the device circuit. To avoid this trouble, discharge the capacitor through 100 - 1kΩ resistors before use. Also, Nippon Chemi-Con may provide some solutions with some packaging method for it. Please consult us.


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