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Antique Gas Engine Discussion Meet collectors of hit and miss engines, ask questions about collecting, restoring and showing antique flywheel engines. 
Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?this thread has 6 replies and has been viewed 39956 times


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#1




Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
Greetings all,
I think I saw a post somewhere on SmokStak that showed a formula that can be used to estimate horsepower of an internal combustion engine based on displacement, number of cylinders and rpm. I haven't been able to find it when I search. Can anybody help me? Thanks, Jerry Christiansen 
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#2




Re: calculate horsepower based on engine displacement?
Jerry,
I think the last post in this thread has the link you're looking for: http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29185 
#3




Re: Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
Got this off of a website in my favorites hope it helps:
Horse Power of Gasoline Engines Reproduced from Loetzer's Handbook, 9th Edition, 1913 Gasoline engines are known as internal combustion engines and are divided into two general classes, namely twocycle and fourcycle engines. A cycle represents one stroke of the piston or onehalf revolution of the crankshaft, a complete revolution therefore represents two cycles. In a twocycle engine the power impulse occurs at each revolution, while in a fourcycle engine it occurs at every other revolution, hence the terms two and fourcycle engines. Both classes have their own particular advantages and uses. For automobiles and stationary uses the fourcycle is most employed, whereas, for motor boat use the twocycle has the preference. The horse power is designated both as indicated horse power, also as brake test horse power. The I.H.P. is the theoretical H.P. which is found by figuring certain formulas, in which the diameter of the bore, the length of stroke in inches, and the number of revolutions per minute form the basis for the calculation. The results found by the use of these formulas indicate, as the term implies, the number of H.P. which that engine is supposed to be able to develop. The B.T.H.P. is the power the engine actually develops in service, and is considerable less than the I.H.P. This depends entirely upon the degree of mechanical perfection attained in the construction of same. If the construction and compression are good the engine may reach an efficiency of from 80 to 88 per cent. of the I.H.P. Owing to the great number of factors which influence the power delivered by highspeed internal combustion engines, the only reliable way to definitely determine the H.P. they actually furnish is by the brake test. For the purpose of comparison and quick calculation, however, a number of useful formulas have been compiled and are generally used by both manufacturers and buyers to find the I.H.P. Following is one of the simplest and most popular. DETERMINING THE HORSE POWER OF AN ENGINE. Multiply the area of the cylinder by the length of stroke in inches and that product by the number of revolutions per minute then divide by the constant 10000 for twocycle or 13400 for fourcycle engine, the result will be the I.H.P. EXAMPLE Fourcycle engine, 4" bore, 4" stroke, 1000 revolutions per minute, constant 13400. Then: 4" bore equals 12.56 area, then 12.56 x 4 equals 50.24 x 1000 equals 50240 divided by 13400 equals 3¾ I.H.P. for one cylinder, then to find the combined H.P. for multi cylinder engine, multiply by the number of cylinders. 
#4




Re: Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
Doug,
Thanks a lot for the quick reply. That is exactly the one I was looking for! Later, Jerry Christiansen 
#5




Re: Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
I think that calculates Indicated HP, also called "Taxable HP", which should set off an alarm in your head right there, it's a WAG formula used by government for taxation purposes...has very little to do with the actual HP produced by an engine. I suppose it's better than nothing, but don't put too much stock in it...

#6




Re: Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
That formula probably worked OK for low speed, low compression engines with atmospheric intake valves. Modern engines will typically develop several times the "taxable" horsepower. It might be interesting to use the formula to compute the HP of several antique engines of various brands & configurations using the formula and compare it to the manufacturer's rating on the tag.

#7




Re: Calculating horsepower based on engine displacement?
Chris,
Thank you for printing that page. I see that we both replied at about the same time last night. Ronm, Thanks for the info about "taxable" horsepower. Patrick, Thanks for the idea for one more demonstration and thing to explain to the crowd when we have an engine hooked up to a Prony Brake. We have often compared indicated power (using the PLAN formula) and brake horsepower for steam engines, now we can do a similar comparison for internal combution engines. later, Jerry Christiansen 
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