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COURSE NO: E04-004
Course Highlights

This online engineerng PDH course provides information on capacitance, including electrostatic lines of force, power losses, working voltage and more.


Capacitance is the property of an electric conductor that characterizes its ability to store an electric charge. An electronic device called a capacitor is designed to provide capacitance in an electric circuit by providing a means for storing energy in an electric field between two conducting bodies. A capacitor in its simplest form consists of two conducting plates separated by an insulating layer called a dielectric. When a capacitor is connected in a circuit across a voltage source, the voltage forces electrons onto the surface of one plate and pulls electrons off the surface of the other plate resulting in a potential difference between the plates.


Capacitance is directly proportional to the electrostatic force field between the plates. This field is stronger when the plates are closer together. Therefore, as the distance between the plates decreases, capacitance increases. Also capacitance is directly proportional to the plate area. Larger plates provide greater capacity to store electric charge. Therefore, as the area of the plates increase, capacitance increases.


This 4 PDH online course is applicable to electrical engineers, design and construction personnel, technical staff and facility personnel who are interested in gaining a better understanding of capacitance.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Define the terms "capacitor" and "capacitance"
  • State four characteristics of electrostatic lines of force
  • State three factors that affect the value of capacitance
  • State two types of power losses associated with capacitors
  • Define the term "working voltage" of a capacitor, and compute the working voltage of a capacitor
  • State what happens to the electrons in a capacitor when the capacitor is charging and when it is discharging
  • State the relationship between voltage and time in an RC circuit when the circuit is charging and discharging
  • Calculate the value of total capacitance in a circuit containing capacitors of known value in series and parallel circuits
  • State the difference between different types of capacitors
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapter 3 of Module 2 titled, "Capacitance" of the Naval Education and Training Materials (NAVEDTRA 14174), Electricity and Electronic Training Series.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Capacitance (1.1 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty (20) questions to earn 4 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Chapter 3 of Module 2 of this NAVEDTRA publication.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: