EVs drive power capacitor designs

An article by Gina Roos, for Electronics Products – Power capacitor makers are developing higher temperature, more robust and smaller devices to meet growing demand in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Vehicle electrification is the biggest growth driver for capacitors used in power converters, according to a recent report from Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group. The power capacitor market share for hybrid and fully electric vehicle (xEV) applications is expected to reach 44% by 2028, up from 29% in 2022.

The overall power capacitor market is forecast to reach $7 billion by 2028, up from $4.9 billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%, according to Yole. The largest markets by revenue include EV, industrial systems and photovoltaic applications. The CAGR for the EV segment is pegged at 13%.

Yole reports that capacitors represent about 10% of the total power converter costs in 2022. Film capacitors, which are the most expensive, are primarily used for high power levels. This translates into higher capacitor costs as the system’s power level increases, requiring more of these passive components.

The report, Capacitors for Power Converters 2023, finds that the three main applications are DC link, snubber and I/O filters. Film capacitors are the mainstream for DC link, though some OEMs will use electrolytic capacitors in markets where there is severe cost pressure, according to Yole analysts. In addition, film capacitors along with multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are typically used in snubber applications, while film and ceramic capacitors are typically used in I/O filters…

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