How To Charge Capacitor Without Resistor: A Complete Guide

How To Charge Capacitor Without Resistor

Capacitors are most commonly used in power supply systems, analog circuits, and tuned circuits. The primary purpose of capacitors is to store energy released later on when needed. 

Resistors are commonly used to charge capacitors, but what happens when you don’t have one? How do you charge a capacitor without a resistor?

In this article, we will learn how to charge a capacitor without a resistor by using variable voltage sources and variable resistance, so you can understand the basic principle behind charging and discharging a capacitor.

How To Charge Capacitor Without Resistor

To charge a capacitor, you must connect it to a complete circuit that includes a power source, a route, and a load. The current does not flow across a circuit without a load and hence does not charge a capacitor. 

You can use a load other than a resistor to charge a capacitor; you can charge a capacitor by connecting it to a battery; it will discharge into the capacitor. You can also use a light bulb with an adequate voltage. 

What Is A Capacitor?

A capacitor is a two-terminal passive electrical component storing charge in an electric field circuit. This energy can be used later, for example, to drive an oscillator.

It is used in everyday devices like radios, televisions, and flashlights, but capacitors have been around for many years.

Capacitors are made up of two parallel plates, each of which has a charge, separated by a small distance( an insulator ) called the dielectric. When there’s no voltage applied to the plates, they are said to be in parallel. 

When applying an electrical current to the plates, they become charged with opposite polarity charges. 

This attraction causes the electrons to move toward one side of the capacitor because electrons have a negative charge. A positive charge is attracted to the other side of the capacitor. 

When no current flows through the circuit, the capacitor stores electric potential energy or voltage. This property makes it useful in many devices, including radios and televisions.

When a capacitor is placed in series with a voltage source, the voltage across the capacitor will always lag behind the applied voltage. 

This phenomenon is called capacitive reactance and can be observed by connecting any capacitor (or combination of capacitors in parallel) to an AC voltmeter.

What Is Internal Resistance?

Internal resistance causes changes in current flow voltage drop and reduces the power factor. Internal resistance is known as “parasitic” or “series” resistance. This type of resistance is due to the following;

  • interconnections of the various components in a circuit or the wire itself. 
  • Interaction of the charges carriers – electrons and holes – with the material through which they are traveling.


Capacitance measures the amount of electric charge stored for a given potential difference. The use of different materials creates capacitors, each having its characteristics.

The capacitance and voltage rating are fixed physical characteristics of a capacitor. Hence, a larger plate has less resistance than a smaller plate, as it provides a more extensive surface area for electrons to flow between them.

The size of a capacitor is called its package, and its expression is usually in terms of the number of capacitors (C) contained in that package.

Everyday use of capacitors is in;

  • Electronic circuits store electrical energy and release it on demand temporarily, recovery, filtering, timing, power factor correction, and other electrical applications. 
  • They have many other applications, including signal processing and acting as an electronic memory. 

What Is The Role Of Resistor In Charging Capacitor?

A resistor is also known as Ohmic Resistor. It is used to reduce the current flow in the circuit and control the voltage in the circuit. 

When a large current flows through a resistor, the resistor gets heated, reducing its resistance value. 

Ohm’s law describes the concept of resistance. They are popularly used to reduce the current amplification in a circuit or for voltage regulation, or both purposes.

Resistors are used with capacitors to control how much current flows through the circuit. They have a resistance that limits the flow of electrons and ultimately controls the voltage in the circuit.

As current flows through a resistor and charges up a capacitor, the capacitor’s voltage will rise; when fully charged, the current ceases to flow, and the voltage of the capacitor remains constant.

A resistor added to the circuit limits how much current could flow through it. This controls how much charge can be stored in the capacitor and thus controls how high its voltage will rise. A potentiometer acts as a variable resistor to control how much resistance is present in a circuit. 

How To Charge A Capacitor Without Resistor 

When you connect a capacitor to a voltage source, an electric field forms and charges the capacitor with energy until it reaches the same potential as the source.

  • Using a 100uF capacitor, you’ll connect the capacitor to a 9V source and then place an inductor between the positive terminal of the battery and one terminal of the capacitor.
  • You then connect the capacitor to an oscilloscope, and you can observe its voltage while applying different frequencies through the inductor. 

The vital thing to know is that a capacitor will store energy when attached to a battery. 

  • The capacitor will charge and discharge through the resistor, but if you attach an inductor parallel with the resistor, the inductor will do all of the heavy lifting.

When the voltage across the inductor changes, it creates a current opposite direction. If there is no resistor to consume energy while charging, the energy will keep going around and around in circles until it dissipates as heat. 

An inductor will store and release far more energy than a resistor, which means it can release energy in a short, high-current burst.

In this case, the inductor’s abrupt release of energy will cause a significant voltage spike on the output, which may be able to blow out our fuses or even damage the components. 

For this reason, it is essential to make sure that there is always a resistor between an inductor and the ground. You may charge the capacitor to a higher voltage than the source by connecting a diode to the inductor. 

What Is An Inductor?

When you connect an inductor to a source of AC, it tends to resist any changes in voltage or current.

A typical example of inductors is transformers (large wire coils) used in power supplies and electronic circuits. Their ability to store energy is what makes them ideal for these applications.

Michael Faraday invented it in 1831. Inductors are used in all kinds of electronics and are even found in everyday devices. You can use an inductor to filter out specific frequencies, regulate the power supply flow, create oscillation, and more!

The inductor and capacitor create a series resonant circuit. The diode disconnects the capacitor from the source when the inductor current reaches zero, and the capacitor achieves a full charge.

Process Of Charging A Capacitor Without A Resistor

To charge a capacitor without a resistor, you will have to use the concept of voltage division. This means that you should connect the resistor and capacitor in parallel to be affected by the same voltage. If done correctly, you can charge a capacitor without a resistor.

The maximum value of the charging current occurs when there is no resistance between the two terminals of a capacitor. 

  1. Connect your capacitor to a power supply(could be a battery or light bulb)
  2. Connect a cable or another device that can act as an electrical switch between this charge and the ground.
  3. Pick an electrical probe with a high enough conductance to establish touch without causing too much disruption to their movement.
  4. Connect one end of this gadget to each side of the capacitor, but make sure no metal meets each other inside since this might produce a short circuit.
  5. Increase the voltage gradually until sparks shoot from both sides at the same time 
  6. Measure the voltage across the capacitor with your voltmeter.
  7. Once fully charged, minimal current will flow out of them until another channel is available for it to take. Remember that the longer you keep it connected, the longer your capacitor will charge.
  8. Remove the wire or switch because electrons will no longer be traveling back and forth between the plates, even though they are still charged. You may need to replace it with something capable of conducting electricity.


It’s possible to charge a capacitor without the help of a resistor. You can do so with a battery or a light bulb. However, it would be best to use a resistor to keep your capacitors from overcharging, which can damage them. 

You also need to carefully monitor the voltage and current; if too much current passes through the capacitor for too long, it will explode and become useless.

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