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If I charge a electrolytic capacitor outside of a circuit and let it sit on my bench top, it drains over time. I found this question on S.E. but that capacitor is in-circuit.

  1. Where does that charge go?
  2. Does it get transformed into some type of energy and then lost over time?

Nichicon Capacitor

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A real-word capacitor is not ideal. In this case the non-infinite resistance parallel to the ideal capacitor does its work: it let's the positve and negative charge cancel each other, generating heat in that resistor.

In practice you won't notice the heat, but the capacitor does heat up a tiny little bit.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I figured it was heat but the parallel resistance makes sense. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Samee87
    Sep 21 '15 at 16:30

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