Capacitive dc-links are widely used in voltage source converters for power balance, voltage ripple limitation, and short-term energy storage. A typical solution, which uses aluminum electrolytic capacitors for such applications, is assumed to be one of the weakest links in power electronic systems, therefore, also becoming one of the lifetime bottlenecks of power electronic systems. Various passive and active capacitive dc-link solutions have been proposed intending to improve the reliability of the dc-links qualitatively, making great effort to diverting the instantaneous pulsating power into extra reliable storage components. In this paper, a generic topology derivation method for single-phase power converters with active capacitive dc-link integrated has been proposed, which can derive all existing topologies, and identify a few new topologies. According to the synthesis results, the main achievements in research on capacitive dc-link solutions are reviewed and presented chronologically as well as thematically ordered. Furthermore, the reliability-oriented design procedure is applied to size the chip area of active switching devices and the passive components to fulfill a specific lifetime target and system specification, as well as compare the overall capacitive energy storage, energy buffer ratio, and the cost of different solutions. The cost comparisons are performed with a scalable lifetime target and power rating. It reveals that different conclusions can be drawn with different lifetime targets in terms of cost-effectiveness.