A 500K microfarad is an energy unit most often associated with a device used to power car audio systems. The 500K microfarad capacitor is a large capacitor that you can use to ensure that your audio system does not lose power when you turn on other power guzzling features, such as AC, heat and lights.
The farad is a unit of capacitance, or a unit that measures the amount of energy that can pass through a capacitor before that capacitor's total energy potential increases. It is a measurement of how much energy a given capacitor can hold at any one time. The farad is a large unit and is not typically used when discussing everyday electronics. Because of this, people typically speak in terms of the microfarad and nanofarad. One microfarad is one-millionth of a farad, while a nanofarad is one-billionth of a farad.
A capacitor is a simple device that stores electric potential. While capacitors come in all shapes and sizes, the design remains generally the same. A nonconductive material, or insulator, separates two conductive wires or metal plates. When electricity is applied to this system, a charge builds up between these plates. Capacitors are similar to batteries; however, they discharge their energy as soon as electrical flow stops. You use a capacitor to regulate the flow of electricity in an electronic device.
You will find 500K microfarad capacitors most often in car audio systems, where they supply a steady flow of energy for the amplifier. This type of capacitor consists of two metal rods encased in plastic that end in positive and negative terminal posts. Within the capacitor is a small computer that calculates the amount of charge the capacitor has while it is connected. The computer outputs this data to a small LCD screen on the capacitor's face.
To install a 500K microfarad capacitor, connect the positive terminal of a car battery to the positive input terminal of the capacitor, then connect the positive output terminal to your amplifier. Then, ground the negative terminal of the capacitor by connecting it to a nonpainted metal surface, just as you would with a negative battery terminal. In this manner, you run the capacitor in line with your battery.