Capacitance is a measure of a capacitor's ability to store electrical charge. It is measured in farads (F), with the most common values ranging from picofarads (pF) to microfarads (µF). The capacitance of a capacitor can impact its suitability for different applications. For example, small capacitors with low capacitance values are often used in high-frequency applications such as radio frequency (RF) circuits, while larger capacitors with higher capacitance values are used in power supply circuits.
The tolerance of a capacitor is the maximum variation in capacitance that is allowed for the capacitor's rated value. It is an essential characteristic that determines the capacitor's performance in different applications. Capacitors with a low tolerance rating are suitable for applications that require high precision, such as analog circuits. In contrast, capacitors with a high tolerance rating are suitable for applications that do not require high precision, such as power supply circuits.
The ESR of a capacitor is the resistance that is present in the capacitor's equivalent series circuit. It is an essential characteristic that determines the capacitor's suitability for different applications. Capacitors with low ESR are suitable for high-frequency applications, such as switching power supplies and DC/DC converters. In contrast, capacitors with high ESR are suitable for low-frequency applications, such as audio circuits.