Types of Governors – Centrifugal Governor, Inertia Governor

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

We’ll look at what governors are first before learning about the different types of governors. Governor is a mechanical device generally used to determine and regulate the engine’s speed to the desired level. It is a particular feedback system used where there is a need to control the load variation in the system. The primary purpose of the governor is to control the fuel flow into the engine to maintain a constant speed; sometimes, it is known as a speed limiter.

When an engine load increases, the engine’s speed decreases and vice versa. When the engine load decreases, the engine’s speed increases; this is where governors play an important role in increasing or reducing the fuel flow to the engine according to the requirements. The governor can be classified in various ways depending on how they operate. In the coming sections, We’ll review the various types of governors and some examples.

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Types of Governors

Typically, there are two types of governors, i.e., centrifugal governor and inertia governor. A centrifugal governor is a type of governor with a feedback mechanism that regulates the fuel or working fluid flow in an engine to keep it running at a near-constant speed. An inertia governor is known as a speed-control device using suspended masses that respond to speed variations due to their inertia.


Centrifugal Governor

The centrifugal governors are based on the balancing of centrifugal force on the rotating balls by an equal and opposite radial force, known as the controlling force. It is widely used for various applications and is mainly preferred when the balance on the masses is needed.

Principle of the Centrifugal Governors

The Centrifugal governor works on the principle of balancing the centrifugal force of the rotating balls.

Construction of the Centrifugal Governors

The design of a centrifugal governor is simple. This type of governor has numerous masses known as governor balls that revolve at a distance from the axis of a shaft and are powered by the engine crankshaft through appropriate gearing. The arm is linked to two balls of equal mass. The sleeve is attached to the spindle axis, driven by a bevel gear mechanism connected to the crankshaft. The throttle valve is attached to the sleeves and is controlled by the engine’s speed. As the load increases, the governor ball’s and governor’s speed, which is geared to the crankshaft, also lowers.

Working of the Centrifugal Governors

It is a mechanical interface between the throttle, which controls fuel supply and speed, and the gearbox. The governor balls spin on spindles, creating a centrifugal force in the inward direction known as the governing force. The ball’s variation in speed and centrifugal force determine the regulating action. The fluid flow increases as soon as the throttle valve opens, boosting the engine’s speed. The governor sleeve transmits the ball’s inward and upward movement to the throttle valve, which controls the amount of fuel given to the engine.

Advantages of the Centrifugal Governors

The following are the advantages of centrifugal governors:

  • Easy to balance revolving parts.
  • Less vulnerable to hunting.

Limitations of the Centrifugal Governors

The following are some of the centrifugal governor’s primary drawbacks.

  • Delayed response
  • Low sensitivity.

Applications of the Centrifugal Governors

The following are some critical considerations to consider while using a centrifugal governor.

  • It regulates the rotation speed of the automobile’s internal combustion engine and keeps it at the proper pace.
  • It is used in hydroelectric power plants to control the speed of the turbine shaft.
  • Mechanical music boxes employ centrifugal governors to adjust speed.

What types of centrifugal governors are there?

Broadly there are three types of centrifugal governors. Pendulum type, gravity loaded, and spring-loaded governor. The governors listed below are examples of centrifugal governors.

  • Pendulum type Governor: Watt Governor
  • Gravity Loaded Governor: Porter Governor and Proell Governor
  • Spring-loaded Governor: Hartnell Governor, Wilson Hartnell Governor, Hartung Governor, and Pickering Governor.

Inertia Governor

The inertia governor is not the same as the centrifugal governor. The location of the balls and the operation of the governor are controlled by a mix of angular and centrifugal forces. Because it is not widely used, it is preferred when a quick response is essential.

Principle of the Inertia Governors

It operates based on inertia movement caused by centrifugal and inertia forces.

Construction of the Inertia Governors

The crankshaft and flywheels of an engine are connected to this type of governor. The governor balls are positioned so that the force due to the shaft’s angular acceleration affects their position. A suitable spring is loaded within the governor to control the amount of governor ball displacement, and the governor mechanism changes the energy supply to the engine.

Working of the Inertia Governors

Because the location of the balls is impacted by the rate of change of speed of the governor shaft, an inertia governor provides a faster reaction to changes in load. The action of this type of governor is based on acceleration rather than a finite change in speed. The supply of air-fuel mixture can be controlled by the ball’s movement, owned by the spring and governor mechanism.

Advantages of the Inertia Governors

There are a few crucial aspects to consider when it comes to the benefits of an inertia governor.

  • Extremely sensitive to load variations.
  • Quick response as a result of immediate reaction.

Limitations of the Inertia Governors

The downside of the inertia type is the practical difficulty of achieving a complete balance of the governor’s revolving elements.

Applications of the Inertia Governors

When it comes to using an inertia governor, there are a few essential aspects to consider.

  • It is used in a steam turbine to adjust and maintain the turbine’s desired speed when the load increases or decreases during operation.
  • It is used in a diesel engine to keep the engine speed at a specific set point.
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