# Compression Ratio - Compressed vs Free Air

## The compression ratio is the ratio pressure of compressed air to pressure of free air

Free air is air at ambient conditions at a specific location where

• ambient temperature
• moisture content
• barometric pressure

are stated.

### Compression Ratio

Compression Ratio is based on the Ideal Gas Law and is the ratio between Discharge Pressure Absolute and Suction Pressure Absolute.

CR = pd / ps                                (1)

where

CR = compression ratio

pd = discharge pressure (bar abs, psia)

ps  = suction pressure (bar abs, psia)

The compression ratio of free air - to compressed air, is indicated in the diagram below.

### Compression Ratio - Pressure (psi)

• 1 psi = 6.9 kPa = 0.069 bar
• 1 ncfm = 0.5 nl/s

#### Converting Compressed Air Volume Flow to Free Air Volume Flow

A compressed air volume flow can be converted to a free air volume flow by using the equation

qF = CR qC                            (2)

where

qF = free air flow (m3/s, cfm)

qF = compressed air flow (m3/s, cfm)

#### Example - Converting Compressed Air Volume Flow to Free Air Volume Flow

A compressed air volume flow of 10 acfm (actual cfm) at 100 psig must be multiplied with Compression Ratio approximately 8 to estimate the volume of free air at atmospheric pressure.

qF = 8 (10 acfm)

= 80 scfm  (standard cfm)

### Compression Ratio - Pressure (bar)

#### Example - Converting Free Air Volume Flow to Compressed Air Volume Flow

A free air volume flow of 1 m3/s is compressed to 10 bar (gauge) and must be divided with Compression Ratio approximately 11 to estimate the volume of compressed air.

qC = (1 m3/s) / 11

= 0.091 m3/s

## Related Topics

• Piping Systems - Dimensions of pipes and tubes, materials and capacities, pressure drop calculations and charts, insulation and heat loss diagrams
• Gases and Compressed Air - Air, LNG, LPG and other common gas properties, pipeline capacities, sizing of relief valves

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