Electrolytic Capacitors: What You Need To Know

This short article will discuss why electrolytic capacitors fail and steps you can take to prevent or prolong the timeframe before this happens. We will not “reinvent the wheel” in this article since much has been written on this subject. Where applicable, I’ll include links to information the reader should review.

Some things to know:

  • Capacitors degrade overtime “in the field” even if the circuit card or module they are installed on, is NOT in service! I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true.
  • Capacitors are used to maintain DC voltages constant, when they start to degrade, the voltage can change!
  • If not replaced, they will eventually fail which could cause other system problems.

What To Look For:

electrolytic capacitor


As you can see on this electrolytic capacitor, it has started to “bulge” on the top. This is indicative of an over pressure inside the cap due to aging. This capacitor is bad! Replace it!



What A User Can Do To Extend Capacitor Life:

  • Keep out of service components stored in a temperature controlled area.
  • When installed, make sure all installations are operating within temperature specs, preferably at the low-end.
  • Inspect Capacitors for signs of aging like bulging frequently during outage periods

For More Detailed Information, Some Useful Links Are:

Cover page of helpful capacitors article
(this is a great detailed article)

For more information on how Powergenics improves power supplies, click here.

DS200TCPSG1A Repair

How Powergenics Improves this MK V Power Supply

DS200TCPSG1A Power Supplies fail for many reasons:

  • Age (even if they are just sitting on the inventory shelf)
  • Overheating (due to a faulty cabinet or panel cooling fans)
  • Dirty environment
  • Faulty repairs (mostly caused by poor quality replacement parts)
  • Poor installation (Damage that might not be evident right away)
MK V power supply failure
Before DS200TCPSG1A power supplies fail, they get “noisy.” That means one or more of the output voltages becomes erratic or is “piggybacked” with an AC voltage.
MK V power supply failure
Visually, it might look like this picture. See the cracked resistors? This could be caused by heat or age and probably contributes to MK V power supply failure.
MK V power supply failure
Powergenics has engineered a refurbishment solution that completely eliminates this “noise”. We replace high failure rate components with higher quality, tighter-tolerance parts resulting in cleaner output voltages for a longer period of time. Since these components are more robust, they will resist heat and age degradation, resulting in a longer life power supply. Here is the same chart showing the output voltage after the Powergenics refurbishment:(Notice the scale is 500mv/division instead of 1V/division!)

For a more complete explanation, watch this short video below:

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Powergenics Launches New Mobile App

Powergenics, a leading supplier of Industrial electronic card repairs and replacement card solutions to power generation and industrial customers, has just launched a new mobile app for iPhone and Android smart phones.

This app will enable customers to communicate more quickly and get answers from Powergenics more easily.

Customers will be able to quickly request quotes, see what products Powergenics supports, and send a text, call or email Powergenics directly from the app!

In addition, a link to Powergenics website from it’s logo and Facebook page has ben provided.