How Does a Capacitance Meter Work?

A capacitance meter is mainly a meter that calculates the capacitance of capacitors. It’s electronic and pretty discrete. However, it works by combining a few complex ways, broken down into a few simple steps.

A capacitance meter works by getting attached to the capacitance itself. Then, it proceeds into taking hold of the amount of charge passing through it. With the help of a few inbuilt formulas, it proceeds to calculate the capacitance.

Many people have the question in their mind, how does a best capacitance meter work? We’ll discuss everything related to the capacitance meter in broad within this article.

A capacitance meter may also show different parameters. So, stay tuned with us till the end to know all about it.

What Is a Capacitance Meter?

Capacitance meters depend highly on the capacitors. Capacitors were primarily made to store charge in the early 1975s. They can be used in different electronic devices, mainly to monitor and keep the charge for later.

Then, capacitance meters came to revolutionize electronic meters. The sole purpose of inventing capacitance meters was to measure the stored amount of charge.

Capacitance’s unit is denoted by F, which means ‘farads’. Now, in the market, you’ll find different capacitance meters ranging from 0.1 picofarad and 20 microfarads.

Out of the many ways of measuring capacitance, we find the bridge method to be the most accurate. We’ll discuss every process briefly in our article today.

How Does a Capacitance Meter Work?

Let’s start talking about how a capacitance meter works. The reference excitation voltage for the calculation is used at the calculated power. An amplifier amplifies the unknown force.

The capacity meter (CM) block diagram consists of an amplifier, uncertain capacitation, reference voltage generator, clock benchmark, multiplexer, load amplifier, generator, integration, and comparator.

The load amplifier, load generator X16, and the load generator X1 are introduced and given to the integration machine. As an input to the comparator, the integrated output is provided.

The comparator monitors the integrator and regulates the X1 and X16 charging generators, maintaining the integrator output at 0 V. The X1 generator of excitation and charging uses the reference voltage.

Linear Capacitance Meter Circuit

Linear Capacitance Meter Circuit

The IC 555 timer is used to produce square waves with the desired frequency and service cycle and is often used for other purposes such as the two op-amps, the resistor, etc.

The one end of the potential divider provides the supply voltage, and the other end is grounded; the three resistances in the potential divider are equivalent.


The voltage VC is attached to a capacitor. It will then regularly charge or discharge. One of the capacitor terminals is attached to the ground, and it is necessary to charge or discharge the other terminal.

In the IC555 timer, the two running amplifiers have two input terminals; the first op-amp output is 1 (logical) when the VC is more generous than 2/3 V, while the second op-amp output is 1 when the VC is smaller than V/3.

The two op-amps are connected to the flip flop of the SR. The Q would be ‘1’ in a flip-flop, and if VC goes above 2v/3 equally, the Q would be ‘0’ while VC goes below v/3.

If VC is between 2v/3 and v/3 (2v/3> VC >v/3), the value of ‘Q’ will not shift, since while the VC is between those two numbers, the outputs of op-amps are zero.

Much of the stuff is currently within the IC555 timer, the operational amplifiers, potential divider, capacitor, SR flip-flop, and so on.

Time for charging: VC=V/3 + 2V/3(1-e-t1/(RA+RB)C)

How to Maintain a Capacitance Meter

The maintenance of capacitance meters is relatively easy. All you need to do is make sure of a few particular points. They are:

  • It would help if you kept the meter free from dust and water
  • You should not let the meters be exposed to elevated temperatures
  • Do not use the meters at rugged magnetic locations
  • It is not advisable to utilize liquids or detergents to disinfect the meters

Features of a Capacitance Meter

Loads of help come from digital capacitance meters. Especially when you’re in a situation where you cannot calculate the capacitor’s charge manually, the capacitance will provide you with these features:

  • The calculation values are simple to read
  • Strong specificity and great precision
  • The calculations are also necessary under an intense magnetic field Highly steady, profoundly stable
  • Extremely robust, incredibly durable
  • Lightweight

Specifications of Digital Capacitance Meter

The specifications of the digital capacitance meter are many. They’ll be a handy tool when you use them, trust us. Some of the specifications are mentioned below:

  • Display: LCD
  • Range: The optical meter ranges from 0.1 pF to 20 mF
  • Battery: 9 volts and the alkaline battery’s battery life is about 200 hours, and the battery life of the zinc-carbon battery is approximately 100hrs
  • Operating temperature: The optical CM’s operating temperature is between 00°C and 400°C
  • Operating humidity: The optical CM’s operating humidity is 80 percent MAX.R.H.H.

Advantages of a Capacitance Meter

The benefits of the capacitance meter are vast. However, a few of them have been mentioned below:

  • Hardware specs are lower in capacitance meters
  • Quick building with simple construction
  • Tiny size
  • Less weight, more functions

Frequently Asked Questions

a) What is the unit of capacitance?

The bulk of electronic systems include a capacitor for electrical energy recovery. The storage capacitance of a capacitor is regarded as the capacitance measured in Farad (F).

b) What’s the best capacitance meter?

The Etekcity – MSR-R500 Digital Multi meter is the best capacitance meter which also comes with other parameters useful for your electrical work.


We hope this article has satisfied your queries to know the answer to the question- ‘how does a capacitance meter work?’ We hope you had as much fun reading about it as we did writing it. Till next time, have a safe electro-working!



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