Results From an Engine Cycle Simulation of Compression Ratio and Expansion Ratio Effects on Engine Performance Academic Article uri icon


  • This investigation quantified the effects of compression ratio (CR) and expansion ratio (ER) on performance, efficiency, and second law parameters for an automotive, spark-ignition engine. The well known increase in engine performance for increasing CR and ER is demonstrated. These increases for brake engine performance are modest for CRs greater than about 10 for the conditions studied. The results demonstrated that the increasing friction and heat losses for the higher CRs are of the same order as the thermodynamic gains. Also, the results included the destruction of availability during combustion. For a part load condition, the availability destroyed decreased from about 23% to 21% for CRs of 4 and 10, respectively. In addition, this study examined cases with greater ERs than CRs. The overall cycle for these cases is often called an Atkinson cycle. For most cases, the thermal efficiency first increased as ER increased, attained a maximum efficiency, and then decreased. The decrease in efficiency after the maximum value was due to the increased heat losses, increased friction, and ineffective exhaust processes (due to the reduced cylinder pressure at the time of exhaust valve opening). For part load cases, the higher ER provided only modest gains due to the increased pumping losses associated with the constant load requirement. For the wide open throttle cases, however, the higher ERs provided significant gains. For example, for a compression ratio of 10, expansion ratios of 10 and 30 provided brake thermal efficiencies of about 34% and 43%, respectively. Although the net thermodynamic gains are significant, large ERs such as 30 may not be practical in most applications.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

author list (cited authors)

  • Caton, J. A.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Caton, Jerald A

publication date

  • September 2008