Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor

The Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor are explained considering various factors like the basic definition, calculation of stored energy, the flow of current, their behavior in both AC and DC circuits. Relationship between voltage and current, its unit, types of inductor and capacitor, their resistance to change and applications.

The Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor is given below in the tabulated form.

BASISCAPACITORINDUCTOR
DefinitionCapacitor stores energy in the form of electric field.Inductor stores energy in the form of magnetic field.
Calculation of Energy Energy stored is calculated in terms of voltage. i.e.
½ CV2
Energy stored is calculated in terms of current. i.e.
½ LI2
Flow of currentThere is no flow of current through the capacitor plates.In an Inductor current passes through the coil.
Behavior in DC circuitCapacitor acts as an insulator for DC circuit.Inductor acts as a conductor for DC circuit.
Relationship between voltage and currentIn an AC circuit current leads voltage by 90 degrees.In an AC circuit current lags voltage by 90 degrees.
Behavior of current in DC circuitIn a DC circuit when capacitor is added in series with a resistor, the current initially becomes high but later falls to zero.In a DC circuit when inductor is added in series with a resistor, the value of current is small and afterward it increases with time.
Unit Its unit is FaradIts unit is Henry
Types Ceramic, Electrolytic and Tantalum are the types of capacitor.Coupled inductor, multi layer, ceramic core inductor, molded inductor are the types of Inductor.
Short circuitThe Capacitor acts as a short circuit for alternating current.It is equivalent to a short circuit to the direct current.
Steady state conditionCapacitor acts as an open circuit to the steady state condition in DC circuits.Inductor behaves as a short circuit to the steady state condition in DC.
Resist to changeCapacitor resists change in voltage.Inductor resists change in current.
ApplicationsElectrolytic capacitor in high voltage power supplies and where high capacity values are needed.Inductors are used in radio, TV, chokes, automobile spark plug, transformer etc.

Capacitor and Inductor both are the passive components of an electrical circuit. A Capacitor consists of two metallic plates or conductors which are separated by a dielectric medium. An electric field set up because of the potential difference between the two conductors or we can say between the two plates.

Inductor is a type of coil which stores energy in the form of magnetic flux. When as electric current is passed through a coil, voltage is developed across the coil due to change in the magnetic field.

The Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor are as follows:-

  • Capacitor stores energy in the form of electric field, whereas Inductor stores energy in the form of magnetic field.
  • Energy stored in Capacitor is calculated in terms of voltage, i.e. ½ CV2. Energy stored is calculated in terms of current, i.e. ½ LI2
  • There is no flow of current through the capacitor plates but in an Inductor current passes through the coil.
  • Capacitors act as an insulator for DC circuit, whereas Inductor acts as a conductor for DC circuit.
  • In an AC circuit for capacitor, the current leads voltage by 90 degrees and in case of inductor current lags voltage by 90 degrees.
  • In a DC circuit when capacitor is added in series with a resistor, the current initially becomes high but later it falls to zero. In case of an Inductor when it is added in series with a resistor, the value of current is small at the starting but gradually it increases with time.
  • Capacitance is measured in Farad whereas Inductance is measured in Henry.
  • Ceramic, Electrolytic and Tantalum are some of the types of capacitor. Coupled inductor, multi layer, ceramic core inductor, molded inductor are some of the types of Inductor.
  • The Capacitor acts as a short circuit in the alternating current. Inductor is equivalent to a short circuit to the direct current.
  • The Capacitor acts as an open circuit to the steady state condition in DC circuits, whereas Inductor behaves as a short circuit to the steady state condition in DC.
  • Capacitor resists the change in voltage whereas Inductor resists the change in current.
  • Electrolytic capacitors are used in high voltage power supplies. An Axial electrolytic capacitor is used in lower voltage and for smaller size for general purposes where where high capacity values are needed. Inductors find applications in radio, TV, chokes, automobile spark plug, transformer etc.

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