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I have a project that requires me to use an electrolytic-capacitor with this specification: 10 uF 16V. I want to know if its possible to use a 10 uF 50V capacitor instead. Thanks for your anticipated response guys.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It should be OK in the absolute majority of cases... \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Aug 23 '16 at 14:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ As the 50V cap is likely to be bigger (physical dimensions), you might run into space constraints. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arsenal
    Aug 23 '16 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please do research before asking questions, this has been asked several times. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Aug 23 '16 at 17:08
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There are very specific cases where this is not allowable, but in general this is almost always ok.

Cases where it is not a good idea:

  • The capacitor has been selected for its self-resonant frequency
  • The capacitor has been selected for its low ESR (equivalent series resistance)
  • The capacitor has other properties (temperature rating, temp. coefficient, lifetime) that are important in the application
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For simple purposes, yes, that should be no problem since you are going with a wider specification than required.

The devil is in the details. If you pull up datasheets for capacitors, you may find a graph that shows device capacitance per applied voltage. The secret there is that the actual capacitance will vary based on the voltage encountered. The 50V part may have a different capacitance at your application voltage than the 16V part does. However, if your application is simplistic then I'd anticipate that there would be no meaningful change in your circuit.

The same principle may apply to your ESR - the different device may have a slightly different ESR. Again, it depends on whether your application would even notice it or not.

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