Types Of Governor: Centrifugal Governor (Fly Ball Governor) And Inertia Governor

Types Of Governor
Read: What Is A Governor?

Governors classified into
  • Centrifugal governor
  • Inertia governor

Centrifugal governor (Pendulum type, Gravity controlled and Spring Controlled)


This type of governor has a mass known as the Governor Ball that rotates at a distance from the axis. The governing action depends on the change of speed and centrifugal force by the governor ball. The valve is operated by the actual change of speed of the engine. Centrifugal governors are further classified into Pendulum type Gravity controlled (dead weight loaded), and spring controlled (spring loaded). In gravity controlled speed governor the centrifugal force due to revolving mass is mainly balanced by gravity, whereas in spring controlled governor, the centrifugal force due to revolving mass is balanced by springs.

The examples for centrifugal governors are
Pendulum type: Watt governor
Gravity controlled: Porter governor, Proell governor.
Spring Controlled: Hartnell governor, Wilson Hartnell, Pickering Governor, Hartung Governor

Inertia governor

In this type of governor, in addition to centrifugal forces on the governor balls, the force due to the angular acceleration and deceleration of the spindle affects the position of the ball. I.e. the inertia governor depends on the rate of change of the speed of the engine. In an inertia governor both centrifugal force and inertia force are in action.

This type of governors is connected to the crankshaft or flywheels of an engine. The Governor balls are arranged in such a way that the angular acceleration and deceleration of this shaft tend to move their position. Similar to spring loaded centrifugal governors, a suitable spring is provided to control the amount of displacement of governor balls.

  • The inertia governor is more sensitive; the response rate of an inertia governor is faster than the centrifugal governor.
  • Why are centrifugal governors most widely used? Because it is easy to balance the revolving part of a centrifugal governor.

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