Difference between Capacitor and Condenser

In the field of electricity, a capacitor is a known term. It is an important element that completes an electric network as well as an electric circuit. It is a type of electric element that has the capacity of storing charge while there is a flow of electricity through it. Both the names, capacitor and condenser refer to a single component that is capable of storing charge and the purpose of their use is also the same. Let’s see the actual difference between capacitor and condenser.

Difference between Capacitor and Condenser in tabular form

Capacitor Condenser
An electric network component that is capable of storing charge particles is known as a capacitor. An electric network component that is capable of storing charge particles is known as a condenser earlier.
A capacitor is used only in the field of an electrical field. The term ‘condenser’ is used in the electrical as well as in the mechanical field.
At present times, the name capacitor is used widely. This device is popularly known as a capacitor. In the earlier days, the name condenser was used widely. This name is used rarely.
A capacitor uses the energy from an electric field. A condenser uses the energy from an electrostatic field.
A capacitor is used in the signal coupling, electric motor starting, decoupling, filtering. Sometimes a condenser is used in the conversion of vapour to liquid by the removal of heat. A condenser is also used in air conditions (AC).

What is a capacitor?

A capacitor is a device used in electric networks for its completion and according to the requirement of the network. A capacitor is among one of the very important parameters of an electric network. A capacitor can store charge while current is flowing through the circuit. After sometimes the capacitor starts discharging the stored charge. A capacitor is a passive device as the capacitor is not capable of controlling currents.

A capacitor is consists of two conductive plates placed parallel to each other at a certain gap. The gap between the plates is filled by dielectrics. The dielectric in between the plates is capable of accumulating electricity. The property that a capacitor exhibit is called its capacitance, which depends on the nature of the dielectric in between the parallel plates of the capacitor.

What is a condenser?

A condenser, from the electrical point of view, is a device that appears and works the same as a capacitor does in an electric network. According to history, the term condenser was used in the past to refer to a capacitor. Now, the term condenser for a capacitor is used rarely.

From the mechanical point of view, a condenser is an optical device that removes the heat from gas and condensed it to its liquid state. In distilleries and air conditioning system, the use of a condenser is found.


From the electrical point of view, a capacitor or a condenser is a device that is used for the storage of electric charge. Condensers are also used in the field of optics as a lens for the accumulation of visible lights.


Sunmoni Gohain
NIT Silchar

1 thought on “Difference between Capacitor and Condenser”

  1. Capacitors and condensers are components used in electric circuits, which can store charge. Both terms describe the same component and essentially there is no difference. So, the main difference between capacitor and condenser is that the term capacitor is a relatively newer term while condenser is an older term.


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