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Capacitors in series Vs Capacitors in Parallel | Difference between Capacitors in series and Capacitors in Parallel

This page compares Capacitors in series Vs Capacitors in Parallel and mentions difference between Capacitors in series and Capacitors in Parallel.

Capacitors in series

capacitors in series

As shown in the figure, if two capacitors are connected in series, following can be derived.
•  For two capacitors in series, total capacitance is expressed as follows.
➨1/C = 1/C1 + 1/C2
➨Capacitors in series, total capacitance, C= C1*C2/C1+C2

➨For multiple capacitors in series, total capacitance, (1/C) = (1/C1) + (1/C2) + ...... + (1/Cn)
•  SI Unit of capacitance is Farad. It is also measured in micro farad, nano farad and pico farad.

Capacitors in parallel

capacitors in parallel

As shown in the figure, if two capacitors are connected in parallel, following can be derived.
•  For two capacitors in parallel, total capacitance is expressed as follows.
➨C= C1+C2
•  Their voltages are same across capacitors but charges are different.

➨For multiple capacitors in parallel, total capacitance, C = C1 + C2 + ...... + Cn

Depending upon applications capacitors in series and capacitors in parallel configurations are used in the electronic circuit design.

Following table summarizes both capacitors in series and capacitors in parallel.


Circuit Type capacitors in series capacitors in parallel
Schematic Diagram capacitors in series capacitors in parallel
Charge/Voltage V = V1 + V2 + V3 +...
V = Q/C1 + Q/C2 + Q/C3 +....
V = Q (1/C1 + 1/C2 +1/C3 + ...)
V = Q/Ceq
Q = Q1 + Q2 + Q3 ... = Sum of charges
Q = C1V + C2V + C3V + ...
Equivalent Capacitance 1/Ceq = 1/C1 + 1/C2 + 1/C3 ...
= reciprocal sum of individual capacitances
Ceq = C1 + C2 + C3 ...
= Sum of individual capacitances

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