Exploding Capacitor


Exploding Capacitor

                                                Exploding Capacitor Informal Lab Report by Matthew K Chak

Purpose: See if a 30V 10A Power Supply can explode a capacitor

Hypothesis: If the power supply is connected to the capacitor, and the polarities are switched then the capacitor will explode

Theoretical Background: The capacitor we used is a 1000uF 35V electrolytic capacitor. It is encased in aluminum, and inside there are many electrolytes. These capacitors tend to explode when they are charged with a reverse polarity at a high enough voltage.

Materials and Equipment:

  • Power Supply (We used 10A 30V, but this can be modified)
  • Capacitor (We used a 1000uF 35V, but this can be modified)
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

Procedure:

  1. Plug in your power supply
  2. Connect the leads of your power supply
  3. Adjust the voltage until the capacitor bursts
  4. Record your observations

Data:

SEE THE VIDEO

Analysis: After a few moments, the capacitor quickly increased its temperature. Since the capacitor couldn’t burst at 19.7 volts, the amount of voltage inputted had to be increased. At 22.7 volts, the capacitor burst. Basically, the higher the voltage, the more likely your capacitor is to burst.

Conclusion: Our hypothesis was correct – at a reverse polarity, when the power supply was connected to the capacitor, it burst. If you would like to investigate further, try different capacitors and power supplies.