How to Increase Voltage With 2 Capacitors

Increase the total working voltage of two capacitors by connecting them in series. For example, two capacitors C1 and C2 with working voltages 5 volts and 10 volts have a total working voltage of Vt = 5V + 10V = 15V. However, the total capacitance is less than the value of the smallest capacitor. If C1 = 10 microfarads and C2 = 20 microfarads then Ct = (10 x 20)/(10 + 20) = 6.66 microfarads.

Connecting capacitors in series increases the total working voltage but decreases the total capacitance.

Step 1

Connect the positive lead of one capacitor to the negative lead of the other capacitor (for nonpolarized capacitors connect any two leads together).

Step 2

Calculate the total capacitance Ct = (C1 x C2)/(C1 + C2).

Step 3

Connect the positive probe of the capacitance meter to the positive free lead of the combined capacitor. Connect the negative probe to the negative free lead. Verify that the combined capacitance is lower than that of the individual capacitors.

Things You'll Need

  • Two capacitors.

  • Capacitance meter or multimeter with a capacitance meter.

Warning

If capacitors with different values are connected in series they will charge at different rates and to different voltages. This could lead to some capacitors being overcharged and others undercharged. Also, leaky capacitors will gradually transfer their voltage to other capacitors in the series. This could exceed the voltage rating of some or all or the other capacitors in the series.

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