How to Buy Switched Capacitors: A Detailed Guide

Your Guide to buying the best Switched Capacitors


Switched capacitors are electrical components with multiple terminals which allow the user to modify capacitance by switching the polarity of the voltage applied to the terminals. These components are widely used in power supplies, signal processing, and other circuits where it is desirable to control the capacitance in a circuit. This buying guide will provide an overview of the types and features of switched capacitors, as well as tips on choosing the best capacitor for the application.

Key features

  1. Quality: Look for products that have been tested and rated for quality and reliability. Check for certifications, such as UL or CE, to ensure the product meets industry standards.
  2. Capacity: Determine the required capacity of the switched capacitor and compare against the available models.
  3. Installation: Consider the type of installation needed, including whether or not a mounting kit or additional components are required.
  4. Voltage: Make sure the switched capacitor is rated for the voltage of the application.
  5. Safety: Select a product that is designed for the specific safety requirements of the application. Ensure that the product has the proper UL and CSA certifications.
  6. Price: Compare the features and performance of various switched capacitor models against the price to determine the best value.

See the most popular Switched Capacitors on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Price: Switched capacitors are typically less expensive than other alternative options.
  • Compact: Switched capacitors have a smaller form factor than other types of capacitors, which makes them easier to integrate into existing circuit designs.
  • High Efficiency: Switched capacitors provide higher efficiency than other types, making them suitable for low-power applications.
  • Improved Performance: Switched capacitors can be used to reduce noise and improve signal quality.
  • High Voltage: Switched capacitors can withstand higher voltage and current than other types, making them suitable for high voltage applications.


  • Cost: Switched capacitors, especially those at higher voltage ratings, can be quite expensive and may not be within the budget of all potential buyers.
  • Voltage Rating: Many switched capacitors are limited to specific voltage ratings which may not meet the requirements of a given application.
  • Size and Weight: Larger switched capacitors may be too large or too heavy for a particular application.
  • Power Dissipation: Switched capacitors can generate high levels of heat and should be properly cooled and ventilated in order to operate safely and efficiently.
  • Noise: Switched capacitors can generate a significant amount of electrical noise which may interfere with other components or systems.
  • Durability: Switched capacitors are generally rated for a limited number of switching cycles and may need to be replaced or serviced regularly.

Best alternatives

  1. Electrolytic Capacitors - a type of capacitor that uses electrolyte, such as liquid or gel, as dielectric to store energy
  2. Variable Capacitors - a type of capacitor that uses a movable armature to change its capacitance value and thus adjust frequency or tuning
  3. Ceramic Capacitors - a type of capacitor that uses ceramic as a dielectric material to store energy
  4. Tantalum Capacitors - a type of capacitor that uses tantalum as the dielectric material to store energy

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Switch Driver ICs - A type of Integrated Circuit (IC) that provides the necessary signals to activate and deactivate the capacitors.
  • Capacitor Banks - A series of capacitors connected in parallel or series and used to store energy.
  • Switching Regulators - Circuit components that regulate the flow of current and voltage in the system.
  • Controllers - Electronic components for controlling the switching of capacitors.
  • Mounting Hardware - Screws, nuts, and bolts used to secure the switched capacitors.
  • Power Supply - A device that provides power to the switched capacitors.
  • Test Equipment - Testing equipment used to measure capacitance, resistance, and other electrical parameters.

Common questions

  1. What is a switched capacitor? A switched capacitor is an electronic device which is used to store energy or measure voltage by transferring charges from one capacitor to another.
  2. What types of switched capacitors are there? There are two types of switched capacitors: single-ended and differential-ended. Single-ended switched capacitors have two terminals (one input and one output) while differential-ended switched capacitors have four terminals (two inputs and two outputs).
  3. What are some applications of switched capacitors? Switched capacitors are commonly used in circuit designs that require high-frequency switching, such as analog-to-digital converters, low-pass filters, and switched-mode power supplies.
  4. What factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a switched capacitor? When selecting a switched capacitor, factors such as the desired capacitance, operating voltage, and switching speed should be considered, as well as the form factor, temperature range, and power requirements.
  5. What are the advantages of using switched capacitors? Switched capacitors offer several advantages, including lower power consumption, smaller form factor, higher switching speed, improved accuracy, and greater noise immunity.


Switched capacitor circuits were accidentally discovered in the 1960s when an engineer was testing an integrated circuit and noticed that the capacitors were switching on and off. This discovery was so important that it changed the way integrated circuits were designed and built, and ushered in the era of modern digital electronics. The engineer was awarded a prestigious award for his work. (Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.