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X Y capacitors

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dan Teopoulos, Apr 29, 2004.

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  1. Hi,
    We are trying to reduce interference in the power suppy of an
    industrial installation and I was thinking of placing X / Y capacitors
    at the installation's power supply input. However I have several
    doubts about this type of components and how safe it is to carry this
    out. I would appreciate it very much if anyone could help me with any
    of this doubts:

    - Do X and Y type capacitor assure that in case of component's failure
    the will behave as an open circuit?
    - In a data sheet of evox-rifa I have read that some capacitors are
    "self healing" and others don't. Does this mean that some will behave
    as open circuit in case of failure and the others will not?
    - Is it a good idea to attach fuses to the capacitors to avoid short
    circuit in case of failure?
    - I have read that Y type capacitors are safer than X capacitors but
    intended for use between phases and ground. Would there be any
    problem in using Y capacitors between phases instead of X capacitors?

    Thank you very much in advance:
  2. AFAIK, Y capacitors are designed so as to make failure extremely
    unlikely. X type won't cause a fire if they fail. As a general rule,
    everything insulating or semiconducting tends to fail short from
    electrical stress, at least to begin with. If the leads break off or
    the part snaps in half, that's different.
    Self healing means that they short, but energy from the circuit blows
    the short away. The minimum current to blow the short away might be
    enough to be fatal to a human. This would allow a less conservatively
    rated capacitor to be used in an application where it might get a
    very, very occasional damaging overvoltage.
    I don't think so, other than cost and size. John Woodgate would
    probably know for sure.
    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
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