Difference Between Capacitor and Inductor

The capacitor and inductor are both electrical components used to oppose changes in current in the electrical and electronic circuits. These components are passive elements, which draw power from the store, circuit, and then discharge. The applications of both components are widely used in alternative current (AC) and also in signal filtering applications. The main difference between a capacitor & an inductor is that an inductor is used to store the energy in the form of a magnetic field, whereas a capacitor stores the energy in the form of an electric field. This article gives an overview of what is a capacitor, inductor, differences, types, uses, and its characteristics.

Difference between Capacitor and Inductor
Difference between Capacitor and Inductor

What are a Capacitor and Inductor?

The capacitor is an electrical component that is made up of two conductors alienated by an insulator. When a potential difference is supplied to both the terminals, an electric field is formed and electric charges are stored. Based on the characteristics, the capacitor is widely used to build electronic circuits. As a die electric substance, any non-conducting substance can be used. But, some of the preferred dielectric materials are Teflon, Mylar, porcelain, mica, and cellulose. A capacitor is defined based on the material chosen like electrode or dielectric. The dielectric material is mainly used to help in storing electrical energy. The capacitor’s value can be determined by the size of the terminals, the distance between the two terminals and the kind of material used. Please follow the below link to know more about: Types of the capacitor and its applications.


An inductor or coil or choke is a two-terminal device that is used to build various circuits. The main function of an inductor is used to store energy in a magnetic field. It consists of a wire, generally twisted into a coil. When a current flows through this coil, then temporarily stores the in the coil. An absolute inductor is equivalent to a short circuit for direct current and grants an opposing force to alternating current that depends on the current’s frequency. The opposition to a flow of the current of an inductor is associated with the frequency of the flowing current through it. Sometimes, these devices indicated to as “coils” because most of the inductor physical construction is designed with coiled sections of wire. Please follow the below link to know more about: Know all about Inductors and Inductance Calculation.


Difference between Capacitor and Inductor

Capacitor Uses

  • High Voltage Electrolytic capacitor is used in power supplies.
  • An Axial Electrolytic capacitor is used in a lower voltage smaller size for general-purpose where huge capacitance principles are needed.
  • High Voltage disk ceramic capacitor is a small size & the value of capacitance and excellent tolerance characteristics.
  • The Metalised Polypropylene capacitor is a small size for values up to 2µF and good reliability.
  • The surface mount capacitor is relatively high capacitance for size attained by several layers. In fact, numerous capacitors in parallel.

Inductor Uses

  • Inductors are extensively used in AC applications like TV, radio, etc.
  • Chokes – The main property of an inductor is used in power supply circuits where AC mains supply desires to be changed to a DC supply.
  • Energy store – It is used to make the spark that catches fires the petrol in automobile engines.
  • Transformers– Inductors with a distributing magnetic lane can be united to form a transformer.

Unit of Measurement

  • The units of capacitance are measured in farads denoted by F. It is equal and identical to a [Ampere-second Volt]. Since an Ampere is a [Coulomb second], we can also say that F = CV
  • The Inductance is the value of an Inductor and it is measured in Henries. Actually, It is the SI unit of Inductance and equal to Volt-second Ampere.

Types of Capacitors and Inductors

The major types of capacitors are classified into three types, namely ceramic, tantalum and electrolytic.

Types of Capacitors
Types of Capacitors

The major types of an inductor are classified into three types, namely Multilayer Inductors, Coupled inductors, Molded Inductors, and Ceramic Core Inductor

Types of Inductors
Types of Inductors


Relationship between V & I in Linear Circuit

  • In a capacitor, Voltage insulates behind Current by π2
  • In an inductor, Voltage insulates behind voltage by π2

Short Circuit

  • For alternating current, a capacitor performs as a short circuit for.
  • An Inductor is the same as a short circuit to DC (Direct Current).

Characteristics of Capacitor and Inductor

  • Capacitors connected in parallel unite like resistors in series
  • Capacitors in series unite like resistors in parallel
  • Inductors in parallel unite like resistors in parallel
  • The Inductor in series unites like a resistor in series

Therefore, this is all about the difference between a capacitor and an inductor. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this article. Furthermore, any queries regarding this concept or electrical and electronics projects, please give your valuable suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what are the main functions of a capacitor and inductor?


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