Difference Between Capacitor vs Battery

Difference Between Capacitor vs Battery

If you are familiar with the science of matter and its motion, then you may have a fair grasp of the importance of the different instruments and their applications. To better understand the intricacies of how electric energy can be stored and released, you need to have a good grasp of the difference between capacitor and battery. Both of these devices have quite a number of things in common; and a lot of differences as well.

In this post, we will discuss the basic difference between them concerning their functions, what type of component they are, how they are used, charging time, polarity, and so on.

Definition of Capacitor

A capacitor is defined as a piece of equipment designed with a couple of terminals and layers of conductor plates with insulators in between them. It works with electric power and functions by extracting, storing, and releasing power within a circuit as required. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this device is known to release all of its current all at once.

It is almost impossible that there is a functional electronic product without this equipment. This means it has several day-to-day uses, a lot of which we are not aware of. Some of them include the following.

  • Tuning in the case of radio systems for strengthening signals and having a clear broadcast
  • Converting AC to DC through the smoothing process
  • Energy storage and releasing it when required as in the case of a camera flash, speakers, etc.
  • Coupling – a process that allows a free flow of AC and total limitation of DC in devices that do not work with DC, example is loudspeakers
  • Used in timing the charge and discharge periods of time dependent set-ups

Interestingly, when you compare battery vs capacitor, you will understand that the latter is a passive component in an electrical circuit, unlike the former, which is an active component. More often than not, this device is used for AC applications because of its ability to block the DC component of the circuit.

Definition of Battery

A battery is an electronic device made of at least one cell that is designed to convert energy from its chemical form to electrical that can consistently sustain electrical charge. The process that results in the production of electrical charge in a battery is called electrochemical reaction, which simply involves the transfer of electrons via an electronic unit.

A standard device can supply electricity constantly in the form of direct current. As already mentioned earlier, every type of this sort of power source comes with one cell, at least, which is the basic power unit. This device consists of electrodes which, when connected to a circuit, allow electrons to flow across from the negative to the positive terminals to create a sustainable electrical charge.

One outstanding difference between battery and capacitor is that the former is used as a DC component to produce a relatively constant electric voltage.

Main Differences Between Capacitor vs Battery

Here is a table of comparison showing how these two relate.

Basis of ComparisonCapacitorBattery
DefinitionAn electronic device made of two terminals, and two or more parallel layers of plates of electrical conductors separated by insulators designed to draw energy from the circuit, store it, and release it when requiredAn electronic device made of, at least, one cell, designed to convert energy from its chemical form to electrical energy that can consistently sustain electrical charge
FunctionDraws power from a circuit, stores it, and then releases it. it is used for AC applications and can block DC components of a circuitProvides power to the circuit. It is an active component of a circuit, and it used for DC applications
VoltageDecreases rapidlyDecreases at a much slower rate
Life cycleA million to 30,000 hours.500 hours or more
Energy storageStored in an electric fieldStored in a chemical form
Energy natureHigher and durable energy densityRapid charge and discharge capabilities

Difference Between Capacitor and Battery: Conclusion

In summary, comparing capacitor vs battery does not bring up confusion, especially if you know what they look like, how they function, and their respective properties as mentioned above.