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Old 15th August 2005, 12:30 PM   #1
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Question Electro - Caps is it true they last longer at lower temperatures

Hello Everyone,
Is it true that a electro capacitor last about 2000 hours at 85 degrees "C" if it is rated at 85 degrees "C" on it case.
I heard that as the running temperature goes down the life expectancy goes up. Is this true? If so by how much?
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Old 15th August 2005, 12:37 PM   #2
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Yes, they dry out faster in higher temps.
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Old 15th August 2005, 02:44 PM   #3
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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Virtually everything lasts longer at lower temperatures. At 0K everything lasts forever!

As for how much longer, here's a quote from Wikipedia:
Quote:
Since the electrolytes evaporate, design life is most often rated in hours at a set temperature. For example, typically as 2000 hours at 105 degrees Celsius (which is the highest working temperature). Design life doubles for each 10 degrees lower, reaching 15 years at 45 degrees.
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Old 16th August 2005, 04:59 AM   #4
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Yep, double life for every 10C drop. I spent a lot of time measuring cap temperatures and calculating lifetimes while designing motor drive electronics for a washing machine manufacturer. The ripple current heating calcs were truly hideous, once you started adding harmonics.
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Old 16th August 2005, 05:53 AM   #5
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Speaking of electros, when they fail (catastrophically) do they tend to fail short or open?

Second, are they flamable?

I've had them go phisssst in my face (I always wear eye protection) but nothing too dramatic so far.

The answers will guide something I've got floating around in my brain.
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Old 16th August 2005, 06:38 AM   #6
mzzj is offline mzzj  Finland
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Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
Speaking of electros, when they fail (catastrophically) do they tend to fail short or open?

Normal failure is increase in internal resistance, but this is not so catastrofic, usually leading to reduced performance and ultimately completely non-functionin circuit.

Tantals are more famous of their violent behaviour, overvoltage spikes or reverse polarity causes them to short-circuit and explode violently.
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Old 16th August 2005, 07:36 AM   #7
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Lytics when failing catastrophically tend to short. Over time they dry out, but that would not be considered a right now failure.

Opens in my experience are more likely mechanical failure, probably due to stress on the lead coming out. Vibration can break the lead off of the innards.

But they can dry out to the point that they do little or nothing.
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Old 16th August 2005, 04:44 PM   #8
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Thank you. That helps.
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Old 16th August 2005, 09:09 PM   #9
Stocker is offline Stocker  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Enzo

But they can dry out to the point that they do little or nothing.
Have I ever told the story about the oscilloscope I took apart, that one of the power supply caps had dried out to the point that, if shaken, it would rattle?
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Old 16th August 2005, 11:39 PM   #10
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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