What is expected life of Electrolytic capacitor?

Q: What is expected life of Electrolytic capacitor?


A: Aluminum electrolytic capacitor is the shortest life parts in power supplies. Other parts, like resin, have also their life, but they are 20 - 30 or over years. So the life on electric devices generally are not problems.

Aluminum electrolytic capacitor is the most important parts in terms of reliabilty, and expected lifetime of power supplies can be estimated by calculating the estimation of expected lifetime of aluminum electrolytic capacitor.

Expected lifetime of aluminum electrolytic capacitor is determined by amount of excess electorlyte, speed of electrolyte evaporating through sealed rubber and temperature that determines the evaporating speed.

The relationship between ambient temperature and capacitor life has been confirmed to follow ARRHENIUS' equation:


Expected lifetime of Electrolytic Capacitor : L = Lo x 2 (T1-T2) / 10


Lo : Lifetime Under Maximum Rated Operating Temperature

T1 : Allowable Maximum Temperature

T2 : Capacitor Temperature on operation


Life expectancy is determined by a coefficient depending on temperature, based on Lo.


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