Electronic – a bipolar capacitor and when is it used


I am studying the schematic for a reactive load box – a device which can be plugged into a guitar amplifier instead of a speaker, on the website http://www.aikenamps.com/index.php/designing-a-reactive-speaker-load-emulator .

The circuits uses a 'bipolar' capacitor – a component i have previously not heard of. I am familiar with parallel-plate capacitors and electrolytic capacitors, and the physics of them both but the mention of a bipolar cap has confused me. There are debates online about creating a cap from two bipolar caps connected head to head, but there doesn't seem to be much on the component itself.

  • What is it
  • What notable uses does it have?


Best Answer

Bipolar is not commonly used these days (outside of psychiatric circles, of course). The more common term is unpolarized. This is in contrast with polarized capacitors such as electrolytics, where applying the wrong polarity can destroy the cap.

So a bipolar label is typically used to draw attention to a cap whose value is so large that a polarized cap might be expected, but which must not actually be polarized.