THE automotive and petroleum industries have been concerned for many years with the mutual problem of improving the thermal efficiency of gasoline engines. Great progress in refining technology, as well as advances in engine design in recent years, have made it desirable to take a new look at high-compression engines.
This paper describes an investigation of the effect of compression ratio on engine efficiency over a range of compression ratios from 9/1 to 25/1. The results show that the thermal efficiency of the multicylinder engines used in this study peaked at a compression ratio of 17/1. The decrease in thermal efficiency at higher compression ratios is due primarily to delay in the completion of the combustion process.
This paper received the 1958 Horning Memorial Award.