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Difference Between Capacitor and Battery

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Last updated date: 21st Jul 2024
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Capacitor vs Battery

A battery is an electronic device that changes over chemical energy into electrical energy to give a static electrical charge to power. Though a capacitor is an electronic part that stores electrostatic energy in an electric field. Both the capacitor and battery play out a similar capacity of putting away and discharging energy, be that as it may, there are basic contrasts between capacitor and battery in the manner they work

Albeit the two batteries and capacitors play out a similar capacity of putting away energy, the primary distinction between them lies in the manner they play out this task. Battery stores and disperse energy straightly while capacitors store and circulate energy in short blasts. In this article, we will study in detail about what is the difference between a capacitor and a battery. Let us look at what the capacitor vs battery is. 

What is Battery?

A battery is an electronic device made of at least one cell that changes over the chemical energy stuffed inside its dynamic materials into electrical energy to give a static electrical charge to power. 

Electrons are created through electrochemical reactions which include the move of electrons by means of an electronic circuit. 

In straightforward terms, the battery is a consistent wellspring of power that supplies electricity as a direct current (DC). A battery, for the most part, contains a positive (+ve) and a negative (- ve) terminal. 

The cell is the essential power unit of the battery which comprises three primary bits. In addition, there are two electrodes and a chemical called an electrolyte that fills the hole between the electrodes. 

At the point when the electrodes are associated with a circuit, the electrons cross from the negative to the positive terminal, in the long run making an electrical charge. Energy is stored inside the battery as chemical energy which gets changed over into electrical energy, discharging electricity through a chemical reaction which in the end generates an electric current.

Some Common Terminologies Used while Talking About a Battery:

Some of the terms that you will frequently come across while studying about a battery are:

  • Cell: It refers to a single cathode and anode that is separated by an electrolyte. The cells are used to produce a current and a voltage. One or more cells put together make up a battery, for example, car batteries generally contain six cells.

  • Primary Cell: This term refers to those cells that contain chemicals that cannot be reversed and have to be thrown away once dead.

  • Secondary Cells: These are the cells whose chemistry can be reversed and therefore, they are recharged multiple times. These cells are also known as rechargeable batteries.

  • Nominal Voltage: It refers to the voltage that is stated by the manufacturers. 

  • Capacity: It is the measure of the electric charge that a battery can deliver at a specific voltage. The capacity of a battery is generally rated in amp-hours (Ah) and milliamp-hours (mAh).

  • C-Rate: It refers to the discharge current in powerful batteries like lithium-ion batteries. It is a more appropriate method of denoting discharge current as it makes the attributes of the current more clearly defined. 1C refers to the quantity of current required to discharge the battery in an hour. Therefore, a 400 mAh battery rated as 1C would supply a current of 400 mAh. Similarly, a 400 mAh battery rated as 5C would supply a current of 2 A. 

What is Capacitor?

A capacitor (otherwise called a condenser) is likewise an electronic part that stores electrostatic energy in an electric field. 

They are progressively similar to a battery however they are utilized for totally unique reasons. While a battery utilizes chemical reactions to store electrical energy and discharges power gradually through an electronic circuit, capacitors are fit for discharging energy quickly. 

A capacitor contains in any event two electrical conductors separated by an insulator (dielectric). At the point when an electric field creates over the insulator, it stops the flow and an electric charge is beginning to develop on the plates. 

What are the Factors that one should Consider while Choosing a Capacitor?

There are certain points that one should keep in mind while choosing a capacitor. These factors include:

  1. Size: according to your need, you must choose the physical volume and capacitance of your capacitor.

  2. Maximum Voltage: you must consider the maximum voltage of the capacitor as the voltage exceeding the maximum voltage will result in the destruction of the capacitor.

  3. Leakage Current: you must also look into the leakage current while choosing your capacitor as even nanoamps of current loss will cause the energy of the capacitor to drain out slowly and gradually.

  4. Equivalent Series Resistance: the tiny amount of resistance developed at the terminals of the capacitor can create a problem when a lot of current runs through it as it can lead to the production of heat and power loss as well.

  5. Tolerance: one must also check the tolerance level of the capacitors while choosing a capacitor. 

Difference Between Capacitor and Battery 

  1. Meaning of Capacitor and Battery: While a battery stores its potential energy as chemical reactions before changing over it into electrical energy, capacitors store potential energy in an electric field. In contrast to a battery, a capacitor voltage is variable and is relative to the measure of electrical charge stored on the plates.

  2. Use of Capacitor and Battery: A battery can as a rule store a bigger measure of electrical charge, while a capacitor, then again, is equipped for dealing with high voltage applications and perfect for high-frequency employments. 

  3. Charge/Discharge Rate of Capacitor and Battery: The rate at which a capacitor can charge and discharge is typically quicker than what a battery is equipped for in light of the fact that a capacitor stores the electrical energy directly onto the plates. The procedure gets postponed a piece if there should arise an occurrence of a battery because of the chemical reaction included while changing over chemical energy into electrical energy. 

  4. Energy Storage of Capacitor and Battery: While both electronic devices are utilized to store electrical energy, the manner in which they do fluctuate drastically. A battery stores electrical energy as chemical energy, while a capacitor stores electrical energy in an attractive field. This is the reason batteries store a great deal of charge however they charge/discharge gradually. 

  5. The Polarity of Capacitor and Battery: The polarity of the electronic circuit must be opposite while charging a battery, while it must be the same as it should be while utilizing if there should be an occurrence of a capacitor. A battery keeps up a steady voltage flow over the terminals and it is discharged just when the voltage goes down.

What are the Similarities Between a Battery and a Capacitor?

Though there are many differences between a battery and a capacitor, the two of them also share certain essential similarities with each other. The major similarities between a battery and a capacitor are:

  • Both the batteries and the capacitor are capable of storing electrical energy.

  • Both the capacitor and the batteries have a series of resistance.

  • Both the capacitor and battery have the capability of producing a potential difference across any electrical component connected to it, for example, a resistor.

To know more about batteries, capacitors, and their differences, log on to Vedantu and seek deeper insights from expert mentors. Clear your concepts and queries under the guidance of the best teachers and develop a conceptual foundation. 

FAQs on Difference Between Capacitor and Battery

1. Which is Better a Capacitor or Battery?

Capacitors have a much lower internal opposition which implies they can easily supply high currents up to several amps, yet they have two impediments, they don't create energy (you have to charge them for energy to be discharged from them) and furthermore, they have low limit, even supercapacitors can just store small parts of the energy that an aa battery can store. The supercapacitor is better in certain regards to the ordinary rechargeable battery and it likewise has some genuine impediments. As the supercapacitor creates it will turn out to be far and away superior. The eventual fate of energy storage (the biggest issue for sustainable power sources) likely could be comprehended by the restored advancement of the supercapacitor.

2. Why can't we Use Capacitors Instead of Batteries?

A battery's voltage remains about constant as it discharges at a constant current. Subsequently, the power output is almost constant. A capacitor's voltage drops straight after some time at a constant current. Along these lines, power output drops directly. So as to utilize the capacitor as a battery substitution, you need a voltage guideline circuit that can step up the voltage as it drops, which implies you need a straight increment in current output to convey a constant power output.

3. Can You Use a Capacitor as a Battery?

Capacitors have a lot of more terrible energy thickness than batteries. While capacitors have improved a great deal as of late, so have batteries, and you will, in any case, need 10 – 100 fold the amount of mass and size of capacitors to store proportional energy to a battery. 


Batteries additionally have the advantage of having a generally constant output voltage as they discharge. Capacitors have an output voltage that diminishes directly all through their charge, which implies you need costly voltage managing circuitry to coordinate them to a heap.

4. Are there any hybrids of capacitor and battery?

Yes, with the advances in technology, engineers have constructed a new component known as a supercapacitor which is a hybrid of a capacitor and a battery and contains some beneficial features from both of these devices. The supercapacitor is very similar to a capacitor in terms of conducting surface as both of them contain two conducting surfaces and store i=energy on the surface of these conducting surfaces just like capacitors. The similarities between supercapacitors and batteries are that the conducting surfaces in a supercapacitor are known as electrodes just as in batteries and also the non-conducting gap between the two conductors is filled with an electrolyte just as it is in a battery. The supercapacitor as the name suggests, stores more energy than a capacitor because the electrodes in a supercapacitor have a comparatively larger surface area.

5. What are the advantages of batteries over capacitors and vice versa?

There are certain advantages that are unique to batteries and capacitors and thus provide them with an upper hand at specific applications. The advantages of batteries over capacitors include that the batteries can store comparatively much more energy than the capacitors even if both of them have the same volume. Also, batteries can supply a steady and dependable stream of energy, but in needy situations, they can provide energy really quickly. 


The advantage of capacitors over batteries is that the capacitors can be charged again and again because they store energy in the form of an electric field and not in chemicals that undergo reactions. Also, capacitors don't lose their capacity to hold a charge as batteries do. Another important advantage of capacitors is that the capacitors are made up of non-toxic material, therefore, they do not require any special disposal practice and one can easily dump it in the trash when they discard their electronic devices.