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difference between battery and capacitor

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Both batteries and capacitors store energy, but they do so in fundamentally different ways. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between batteries and capacitors:

Energy Storage Mechanism:

  • Battery: Stores energy chemically. Internal chemical reactions convert potential energy stored in the chemical bonds into electrical energy. This process is not instantaneous and can be affected by factors like temperature and age.
  • Capacitor: Stores energy electrostatically. When charged, an electric field is created between two conductive plates separated by an insulator. The energy is stored in the potential difference (voltage) between the plates. This storage and release of energy is much faster compared to batteries.

Energy Delivery:

  • Battery: Provides a steady flow of electrical energy over a longer duration. The discharge rate (how quickly the battery delivers power) is limited by the internal chemical reactions.
  • Capacitor: Delivers a burst of electrical energy very quickly. It can discharge its stored energy rapidly due to the physical nature of the electric field. However, the total amount of energy a capacitor can store is typically much lower than a battery of comparable size.


  • Battery: Can be recharged by reversing the internal chemical reactions through an external power source. However, this process can take time and may have limitations on the number of recharge cycles depending on the battery type.
  • Capacitor: Can be charged and discharged very quickly. It doesn't rely on chemical reactions and can be cycled much more frequently without significant degradation.


  • Battery: Used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and applications requiring a steady flow of power over an extended period.
  • Capacitor: Used in camera flashes, power supply filtering, and applications requiring short bursts of high power or where rapid charging and discharging cycles are needed.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences:




Energy Storage Mechanism



Energy Delivery

Steady flow over time

Burst of energy quickly


Requires time and cycles limitations

Very fast


Portable electronics, EVs, etc.

Camera flashes, power filtering, etc.

In conclusion, both batteries and capacitors have their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice between them depends on the specific application and the desired energy storage and delivery characteristics.