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Charging System Capacitors

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Charging System Capacitors Reply with quote

Hi Bob et al.
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My '76 Cessna Cardinal has three capacitors in the charging system. I'm wondering if all of these are still considered part of the conventional wisdom, or how that has evolved over time.

1) There's an alternator output capacitor on the back of the alternator, such as this from Aircraft Spruce:
That seems harmless enough.
2) There's a capacitor across the overvoltage relay sensor, on the regulator INPUT line, between the 5 amp field circuit breaker and the alternator half of the master switch. Some Cardinal folks have reported removing that capacitor, in conjunction with removing the OV relay in favor of a regulator that has integral OV protection, increases the likelihood of nuisance OV trips of the regulator.
3) There's a capacitor on the regulator OUTPUT to the field terminal of the alternator, mounted on the firewall in a metal box. I'm not sure these regulator-field-output filter capacitors are now considered good practice.
Here's some John Schwaner tips on charging system filtering.
What's the current wisdom on these three capacitors? They occasionally explode for a variety of capacitor-deterioration reasons.


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