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Old 17th March 2015, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default Series Caps on Power Supply

I'm once again considering a tubelab SSE. The power supply cap requirements have got me thinking about voltage distribution amongst capacitors in series. I do not have any 500v parts laying around, but I do have some fairly good caps of lower voltage.

Am I correct in thinking that (for example) two 250v caps in series will satisfy the requirements of a single 500v power supply cap?

(Yes, I do realize that the overall capacitance will drop)
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Old 17th March 2015, 09:44 PM   #2
cerrem is offline cerrem  United States
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Yes.... that is correct.... Just be carefull to use similair values to keep the capacitive voltage divider with shared voltage....
If you have +/- 10 % caps ..... then consider the Worse Case ...then make sure to account for % 20% capacitance delta between the caps with respect to applied DC voltage + a little headroom of course...
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Old 17th March 2015, 09:47 PM   #3
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerrem View Post
Yes.... that is correct.... Just be carefull to use similair values to keep the capacitive voltage divider with shared voltage....
If you have +/- 10 % caps ..... then consider the Worse Case ...then make sure to account for % 20% capacitance delta
between the caps with respect to applied DC voltage + a little headroom of course...
It's also necessary to use a resistive divider of (for example) 100k across each cap to ensure voltage balancing.
You cannot rely on the capacitance values for balancing the voltages.
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Old 17th March 2015, 09:53 PM   #4
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There's a good diagram of the needed resistor setup at:

Rap on Replacing Electrolytic Capacitors

and it's important, I've blown up capacitors by neglecting this.
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Old 17th March 2015, 09:56 PM   #5
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Originally Posted by geezertron View Post
it's important, I've blown up capacitors by neglecting this.
Yes, you will. The resistors must be low enough in value to swamp the capacitor leakage current, so allow a bleeder current of several mA.
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Old 17th March 2015, 10:33 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Awesome info!
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