4-14 Figure 4-10B.—Capacitor filter. SLOW DISCHARGE From your earlier studies in basic electricity, you may remember that one time constant is defined as the time it takes a capacitor to charge to 63.2 percent of the applied voltage or to discharge to 36.8 percent of its total charge. This action can be expressed by the following equation: t = RC Where: R represents the resistance of the charge or discharge path And: C represents the capacitance of the capacitor. You should also recall that a capacitor is considered fully charged after five RC time constants. Refer to figure 4-11. You can see that a steady dc output voltage is obtained when the capacitor charges rapidly and discharges as slowly as possible.

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