Reconditioning Capacitors

When reconditioning capacitors, there are a few things you will need for the process:

  • Resistor - 1k ohm for current limitation
  • Timing Device - keep track of time
  • Power Supply - Adjustable DC Voltage
  • Volt Meter - reading the voltage being applied

Once you have the supplies, connect the resistor to the capacitor, then apply half the voltage rated on the capacitor. Set your timing device for about 10 minutes. Once this time has passed, reset your timing device for about 20 minutes. Slowly add more voltage to the capacitor within the 20 minutes until you reach the voltage rating. Some capacitors will have higher voltage ratings than others. The time duration of incrementing voltage will depend on how large of a capacitor voltage there is.

An example on determining how much voltage to increment for a time duration would be:

40V capacitor

  • Start at 20V for 10 minutes (half voltage).

  • 20V is needed to reach the voltage rating on the capacitor and there is 20 minutes to increment.

  • 20V divided by 20 minutes should equal 1V per minute for incrementing voltage.

Once that time has expired, the capacitor can be applied to function in a circuit.

If you would like to use an Arduino for reconditioning capacitors, please take a look at this: Electrolytic Capacitor Reconditioning. This will bring you to a link on how to build the circuit and instructions for coding.

You can find the Arduino boards in the following: Arduino Evaluation Boards.