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Capacitor Life Calculators

Operating conditions directly affect the life of an aluminum electrolytic capacitor. The ambient temperature has the largest effect on life. The relationship between life and temperature follows a chemical reaction formula called Arrhenius' Law of Chemical Activity. Simply put, the law says that life of a capacitor doubles for every 10 degree Celsius decrease in temperature (within limits).

Voltage derating also increases the life of a capacitor, but to a far lesser extent, as compared to temperature deratings. Internal heating, caused by the applied ripple current, reduces the projected life of an aluminum electrolytic capacitor.

The relationship between capacitor life and the operating conditions can be calculated by the following equations:

Radial/Snap-In/SMD

Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor Formula
Load Life Rating (hours)
Max Temperature Rating (° C)
Ambient Temperature (° C)
Rated Voltage (VDC)
Applied Voltage (VDC)
Rated Ripple Current (mA/A)
Applied Ripple Current (mA/A)
Part Rated With Ripple (%)

Polymers

Ceramic Formula
Load Life rating (hours)
Max Temperature (° C)
Ambient Temperature (° C)

Supercapacitors

Supercapacitors Formula
Load Life rating (hours)
Max Temperature (° C)
Ambient Temperature (° C)
Rated Voltage (VDC)
Applied Voltage (VDC)

Axial Aluminum Electrolytic

Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor Formula
L1 - Load Life Rating (hours)
Tm - Maximum Temperature (° C)
Ta - Ambient Temperature (° C)
Ripple Current (mA)
Frequency (Hz)
Capacitance (uF)
D.F (%)
Rated Voltage (VDC)
Applied Voltage (VDC)
Diameter (mm)
Length (mm)

Film Capacitors

The operating conditions affect the life of a film capacitor in a very similar manner to aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Voltage derating has a greater effect on the life as compared to an aluminum electrolytic capacitor. The life expectancy formula for film capacitors is expressed by the following equation:

Film Capacitor Formula
L1 - Load Life Rating (hours)
Tm - Maximum Temperature (° C)
Ta - Ambient Temperature (° C)
AC Current (A)
Frequency (Hz)
Capacitance (uF)
D.F. (%)
Rated Voltage (V)
Applied Voltage (V)
Diameter (mm)
Length (mm)
Height (mm)
Thickness (mm)

Ceramic Capacitors

The life of a ceramic capacitor at the operating conditions is expressed by the following equation:

Ceramic Formula
L1 - Load Life Rating
Vr - Maximum Rated Voltage
Vo - Operating Voltage
Tm - Max.Temp.Rating of Capacitor
Ta - Ambient Temp.