Daily Archives: 2-February-2016

Estimating The Lifetime of an Electrolytic Capacitor

Our optical products are powered by AC power converters (e.g. wall adapters, uninterruptible power sources) that we buy from outside sources. Over the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a number of aluminum electrolytic capacitor failures in these power products. Like all components, electrolytic capacitors eventually do wear-out (e.g. Figure 1). Unfortunately, their lives are relatively short (~15 years) compared to other components in the system. We have had some of these power sources in the field for nearly ten years, so we are starting to see some worn-out capacitors. Continue reading

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