Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Governor vs flywheel

  1. Nov 22, 2009 #1
    Hi guys
    What is the difference between flywheel and governor? Well, I know that flywheel is a wheel which stores and releases energy and avoid fluctutations in speed and governor controls fuels supply when speed is in access or very less through centrifugal action.
    But what i am confused is whats diff between two? Both tend to stabilize speed. So is the diff only in the way of working or what?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A governor changes its mechanical and/or electrical configuration in response to speed variations. Those changes are used to control the input.
    I suppose that such mechanisms could be built into a flywheel, but I've never heard of it being done. Normally, a flywheel is a fairly rigid structure.
  4. Nov 22, 2009 #3
    Is there any use of governor in ic engines of cars?
  5. Nov 22, 2009 #4

    Ranger Mike

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Tractors have governors so a set RPM may be maintained for plowing, etc..
    the closest to a governor on automobiles is cruise control where a specific MPH is locked in and the engine varies RPM to maintain the speed regardless of hills , terrain
  6. Nov 22, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Don't forget rev limiters on high-performance engines as well. These are usually built into the tach. Most just shut the engine down, but some selectively dampen spark activity to maintain rpm's at the redline. Also, some commercial vehicles such as Greyhound buses have driving speed limiters.
  7. Nov 22, 2009 #6
    Actually, the first governor used something like a flywheel. The invention was the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_governor" [Broken] by James Watt.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Nov 23, 2009 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Don't confuse this, a flywheel is NOT a governor. A flywheel may well be a component in a governor as bluelava0207 linked to, but they're not the same. Danger's responses are bang on; in a normal automotive application any governor operates as engine overspeed protection.
  9. Nov 23, 2009 #8
    Flywheels are used for short-term energy storage, like on the one-cylinder hit-and-miss farm engine, which had to coast for 720 degrees (somethimes more) between spark ignition. See thumbnail. For four-clinder automobile engines, a flywheel makes the idle RPM smoother.
    (picture taken from http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400085029474 [Broken])
    Bob S

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Nov 23, 2009 #9
    There is a governor in many cars, although not in the engine, but in the automatic transmission of non-computerized transmissions. It regulates oil pressure to change gears. Look under transmission components governor:
    http://www.familycar.com/transmission.htm#Throttle Cable
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Governor vs flywheel
  1. Flywheel ! (Replies: 4)

  2. Working Of Flywheel (Replies: 8)

  3. Torque on flywheels (Replies: 2)

  4. Motor for flywheel (Replies: 5)