Aluminum electrolytic capacitors have always been a common choice for power supplies. However, they have a limited life span and are susceptible to extreme conditions of high temperatures and low temperatures. The electrolyte evaporates during the life of the capacitor,changing its electrical properties. The rate at which the electrolyte evaporates is closely related to the capacitor temperature. For every 10 degrees Celsius drop in operating temperature, the capacitor life is doubled.The rated life of a capacitor is usually the result at its maximum rated temperature.
Lifetime temperature dependence actually affects how you reduce the capacitor's rated voltage. Aluminum electrolytic capacitors usually use only about 80% of their rated voltage.
When choosing an aluminum electrolytic capacitor, you need to determine if its shortcomings will adversely affect the application. You need to consider the length of life through its working temperature. In addition, you should reduce the voltage rating appropriately so that you can achieve the lowest temperature operation for the longest life.Finally, you need to understand the range of ESRs that must be used so that you can properly design the control loop to meet the ripple specifications of your design.
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