Difference between inductor and capacitor

The main key difference between inductor and capacitor is that inductor opposes an abrupt change in current whereas capacitor opposes an abrupt change in voltage. This article is intended to cover the main difference between capacitor and inductor on the basis of units, energy storage, DC behaviour, current flow, types, phasor diagram, applications, series, and parallel connection.

Inductor and capacitor both are the passive components of an electrical circuit. A capacitor consists of two metallic plates or conductor which are separated by a dielectric medium. An electric field set up because of the potential difference between the twp conductors or we can say between the two plates while in the inductor is the type of coil which stores energy in the form of magnetic flux. when as electric current is passed through a coil, voltage is developed across the coil due to change in the magnetic field.

The main key difference between inductance and capacitance are given below.
  • Inductance is a property of current-carrying conductors which generates a magnetic field around the conductor while capacitance is the ability of a device to store electric charge.
  • Inductance is measured by henry(H) while in capacitance is measured in farads(F) and is symbolized as C.
  • In an inductor current passes through the coil but there is no flow of current through the capacitor plates but 
  • The capacitor acts as an insulator for the DC circuit whereas inductors act as a conductor for the DC circuit.
  • Inductor behaves as a short circuit to the steady-state condition in DC whereas the capacitor acts as an open circuit to the steady-state condition in DC circuit.
  • Capacitance stores energy in the form of electric field whereas inductor stores energy in the form of the magnetic field.
  • In an AC circuit for the capacitor, current leads voltage by 90 degrees and in case of inductor current lags voltage by 90 degrees.
  • Energy stored in the capacitor is calculated in terms of voltage (1/2*CV^2) while in inductor energy stored is calculated in terms of current, 1/2*LI^2.
  • Capacitance is the dominating component in high pass filter while in inductance is the dominating component in low pass filter.
  • Capacitance is associated with capacitors. there are several types of capacitors used in circuits while in inductor the electrical component associated with inductance is knowns as inductors which usually coils with core or without a core.
  • The inductor is equivalent to a short to the direct current while the capacitor acts as a short circuit in the alternating current.
  • An inductor resists the change in the current while capacitor resists the change in voltage.
  • Coupled inductor, multi-layers ceramic core inductor moulded inductor are some of the types of inductor while in ceramic, electrolytic and tantalum are some of the types of capacitor.
  • In case of the inductor when it is added in series with a resistor the value of current is small at starting but gradually it increases with time while in the capacitor is added in series with a resistor the current initially becomes high but later it falls to zero.
  • Low-frequency AC voltages cannot pass through capacitors as they act as barriers to low frequencies while in inductors response to slow changing voltages high-frequency AC voltage cannot pass through inductors.
  • The inductor is used in radio, TV, chokes, automobile spark plug, transformer, etc while in a capacitor is used in high voltage power supplies and where high capacity values are needed.

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