Emerging alternative energy systems for solar and wind are growing the demand for reliable capacitor technology. Manufacturers presently base the lifetime and reliability of their capacitors on operating temperature, ripple currents, and ambient conditions. Designers of PV inverter systems used are finding that film capacitors are emphasized for their lifetime expectations. This is especially true when compared to aluminum electrolytic capacitors. This paper presents a reliability estimate based on the core temperature of a representative film capacitor. Curves showing the performance of this component in a ripple test fixture will be presented as a reliability estimate.

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