Abstract A comprehensive model for a semi-hermetic CO2 reciprocating compressor is presented. This comprehensive model is composed of three main sub-models simulating the geometry and kinematics, the compression process, and frictional power loss. Valve and leakage sub-models are included in the compression process model. The frictional power loss model includes the friction at the bearings and between the piston ring and cylinder wall. The predicted results of the comprehensive model are validated using external compressor performance measurements of compressor input power and mass flow rate. The mass flow rate and compressor input power are predicted to within 4.03% and 6.43% mean absolute error, respectively, compared to the experimental datum. Additionally, a parametric study is presented which investigates compressor performance as a function of the stroke-to-bore ratio.