• Types of governors
• force analysis of Porter and Hartnell governors
• Controlling force
• effort and power
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• The function of a governor is to regulate the mean
speed of an engine, when there are variations in the
• For example, when the load on an engine increases, its
speed decreases, therefore it becomes necessary to
increase the supply of working fluid.
• On the other hand, when the load on the engine
decreases, its speed increases and thus less working
fluid is required.
• The governor automatically controls the supply of
working fluid to the engine with the varying load
conditions and keeps the mean speed within
• A little consideration will show that, when the
load increases, the configuration of the governor
changes and a valve is moved to increase the
supply of the working fluid ; conversely, when the
load decreases, the engine speed increases and
the governor decreases the supply of working
• The function of a flywheel in an engine is entirely
different from that of a governor.
• It controls the speed variation caused by the
fluctuations of the engine turning moment during
each cycle of operation.
• It does not control the speed variations caused by a
• The varying demand for power is met by the
governor regulating the supply of working fluid.
Types of Governors
• The governors may, broadly, be classified as
1. Centrifugal governors
2. Inertia governors.
• 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.
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• It consists of two balls of equal mass, which are attached to
the arms as shown in Fig.
• These balls are known as governor balls or fly balls. The
balls revolve with a spindle, which is driven by the engine
through bevel gears.
• The upper ends of the arms are pivoted to the spindle, so that the
balls may rise up or fall down as they revolve about the vertical axis.
• The arms are connected by the links to a sleeve, which is keyed to the
spindle. This sleeve revolves with the spindle ; but can slide up and
• The balls and the sleeve rises when the spindle speed increases, and
falls when the speed decreases.
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In order to limit the travel of the
sleeve in upward and downward
directions, two stops S, S are
provided on the spindle.
• The sleeve is connected by a bell crank lever to a throttle valve.
• The supply of the working fluid decreases when the sleeve rises and
increases when it falls.
• When the load on the engine increases, the engine and the governor
• This results in the decrease of centrifugal force on the balls. Hence
the balls move inwards and the sleeve moves downwards.
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The downward movement of the
sleeve operates a throttle valve at
the other end of the bell crank
lever to increase the supply of
working fluid and thus the engine
speed is increased.
• When the load on the engine decreases, the engine and the governor
speed increases, which results in the increase of centrifugal force on
• Thus the balls move outwards and the sleeve rises upwards.
• This upward movement of the sleeve reduces the supply of the
working fluid and hence the speed is decreased. In this case, the
power output is reduced.
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Terms Used in Governors
• The following terms used in governors are important from the subject point
of view ;
1. Height of a governor. It is the vertical distance from the centre of the ball
to a point where the axes of the arms (or arms produced) intersect on the
spindle axis. It is usually denoted by h.
2. Equilibrium speed. It is the speed at which the governor balls, arms etc.,
are in complete equilibrium and the sleeve does not tend to move
upwards or downwards.
3. Mean equilibrium speed. It is the speed at the mean position of the balls
or the sleeve.
4. Maximum and minimum equilibrium speeds. The speeds at the maximum
and minimum radius of rotation of the balls, without tending to move
either way are known as maximum and minimum equilibrium speeds
5. Sleeve lift. It is the vertical distance which the sleeve travels due to change
in equilibrium speed.
• Note : There can be many equilibrium speeds between the mean and the
maximum and the mean and the minimum equilibrium speeds.
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Governor Effort and Power
Governor effort and power can be used to compare the effectiveness of
different type of governors.
Governor Effort :
It is defined as the mean force exerted on the sleeve during a
given change in speed. When governor speed is constant the net force
at the sleeve is zero. When governor speed increases, there will be a net
force on the sleeve to move it upwards and sleeve starts moving to the
new equilibrium position where net force becomes zero.
It is defined as the work done at the sleeve for a given change in speed.
Power of governor = Governor effort x Displacement of sleeve
Characteristics of Governors
Different governors can be compared on the basis of following
A governor is said to be stable when there is one radius of rotation of
the balls for each speed which is within the speed range of the
The smaller the change in speed from no load to the full load, the more
sensitive the governor will be. According to this definition, the
sensitiveness of the governor shall be determined by the ratio of speed
range to the mean speed. The smaller the ratio more sensitive the
governor will be
where N2 – N1 = Speed range from no load to full load.
A governor is said to be isochronous if equilibrium speed is
constant for all the radii of rotation in the working range. Therefore, for
an isochronous governor the speed range is zero and this type of
governor shall maintain constant speed.
Whenever there is change in speed due to the change in load on
the engine, the sleeve moves towards the new position but because of
inertia if overshoots the desired position. Sleeve then moves back but
again overshoots the desired position due to inertia. This results in
setting up of oscillations in engine speed. If the frequency of fluctuations
in engine speed coincides with the natural frequency of oscillations of the
governor, this results in increase of amplitude of oscillations due to
resonance. The governor, then, tends to intensity the speed variation
instead of controlling it. This phenomenon is known as hunting of the
governor. Higher the sensitiveness of the governor, the problem of
hunting becomes more acute.
• In Porter governor central load is
attached to the sleeve as shown in Fig .
• The load moves up and down the central
spindle. This additional downward force
increases the speed of revolution
required to enable the balls to rise to any
• Consider the forces acting on one-half of
the governor as shown in Fig.
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Though there are several ways of
determining the relation between the
height of the governor (h) and the angular
speed of the balls (ω), yet the following
two methods are important from the
subject point of view :
1. Method of resolution of forces ; and
2. Instantaneous centre method.
• A Hartwell governor is a spring loaded governor as shown in Fig. It consists
of two bell crank levers pivoted at the points O,O to the frame.
• The frame is attached to the governor spindle and therefore rotates with it.
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• Each lever carries a ball at the end of the vertical arm OB and
a roller at the end of the horizontal arm OR.
• A helical spring in compression provides equal downward
forces on the two rollers through a collar on the sleeve.
• The spring force may be adjusted by screwing a nut up or
down on the sleeve.
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