Compression ratio

When you increase the compression of an engine it will produce an increase in the HP and Torque output throughout an engine RPM range. If a long duration cam is installed in the engine, increasing the compression ratio at the same time has a greater advantage than these two modifications made separately at different times. By raising the compression ratio of an engine, the peak combustion pressures are increased.

Engineering studies have found that cylinder pressures are about 100 times what the compression ratio is. That means that an engine that has 10:1 compression ratio, would create 1,000 psi of peak combustion pressure. Increasing the compression ratio will increase an engines cylinder pressure and this increase in compression also increases the an engine’s thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is a measurement of how effectively the an engine converts heat into mechanical power.

Due to the fact that a high compression cylinder makes its power much earlier on in the power stroke there is another issue that can be taking an advantage of. That is that the early opening of the exhaust valve opening needed for high RPM output can be utilized without effecting the engine’s low RPM output.

How much HP and Torque can be gained from an increase in an engine compression ratio?

By using the chart below you can fiqure the thermal efficiency at any given compression ratio. First locate the original compression ratio listed horizontally, then locate the new compression in the first column. Where the two compression ratios intersect, that is the gain that can be expected. For instance if the compression ratio of an engine is raised from 9:1 to 12:1 the two values intersect at the box with 7.7 in it. This is the percentage increase of thermal efficiency that can be obtained from raising the compression from 9:1 to 12:1.

9:1 10:1 11:1 12:1 13:1 14:1 15:1

10:1 2.9
11:1 5.5 2.5
12:1 7.7 4.7 2.1
13:1 9.7 6.6 4.0 1.9
14:1 11.5 8.3 5.7 3.5 1.6
15:1 13.0 9.8 7.1 4.9 3.0 1.4
16:1 14.5 11.3 8.6 6.4 4.4 2.8 1.4

Comp ratio

On normally aspirated engines at low engine rpm’s there is little ramming from intake charge velocity into the engine’s cylinder. When the piston starts to move up in the cylinder bore on the compression stroke prior to the intake closing, some of the air / fuel mixture is pushed back into the cylinder head’s intake port. This creates the situation were the volumetric efficiency and the effective displacement of the cylinder is well below 100 percent.

Raising the compression ratio one point from a low ratio has a greater effect then raising the compression ratio up from an already high ratio. This means the larger the duration and lift of a camshaft the more responsive it is to a increase in the compression ratio, especially in the lower engine rpm.

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