Flywheel vs Governor: Difference and Comparison

Flywheels and governors are mechanical devices used to regulate and control fluctuations in speed. They both work to stabilize the speed of the vehicle.

There is not much difference in the purpose they serve for the vehicle, so the only differences we can find are in the working mechanism of these devices.

Key Takeaways

  1. Flywheels store rotational energy in engines or machinery, helping to maintain a consistent speed during fluctuations in power input; governors regulate engine speed by adjusting fuel supply or mechanical load.
  2. Flywheels are energy storage devices that smooth out variations in power output; governors are control devices that maintain a desired speed or load.
  3. Flywheels function through their rotational inertia; governors use feedback mechanisms based on centrifugal force, spring tension, or electronic signals.

Flywheel vs. Governor

The flywheel regulates the crankshaft’s speed fluctuation. When the engine’s energy supply exceeds its needs, it stores excess rotational energy. A governor maintains the speed of the vehicle regardless of load. When vehicles are not operating at their normal speed, it works to regulate the speed.

Flywheel vs Governor

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There is also a difference between their work. The flywheel makes the regulation of the variations in the speed at the crankshaft, while the governor controls the variation of speed caused by the variation of load.

Also, the flywheel is way heavier than the governor. The flywheel is responsible for storing the rotational energy if the mechanical energy exceeds the required amount.

On the other hand, the governor is responsible for regulating the fuel supplies to the engine according to the variations in load conditions.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFlywheelGovernor
DefinitionFlywheel is a heavy rotating wheel which decreases the jerk due to certain fluctuations in the speed.Governor is a speed control device that regulates and controls the variations in speed due to the variations in loads.
Operating timeFlywheel operates continuously, and all the time, the engine runs.Governor operates only when the engine is not running at its mean speed.
Working mechanismThe working of the flywheel includes limiting the variations in speed due to the difference between active and driving torque during every thermodynamic cycle.The governor’s work includes ensuring that the engine is running at its mean speed within the specified limits under conditions where the load is varying by adjusting the fuel supply to the engine during the entire cycle.
FunctionThe flywheel device stores the rotational energy when there is excess mechanical energy to avoid fluctuations in energy.The governor device helps maintain the engine’s mean speed constantly over time by regulating the amount of fuel flow.
UsageThe usage of a flywheel in all engines is not compulsory.It is compulsory to use the governor in all engines.
WeightFlywheel is comparatively heavier than the governor and has much inertia.Governor is lighter than the flywheel and has a small amount of inertia.

What is Flywheel?

A rotating wheel that is heavy and is attached to a revolving shaft is called a Flywheel. It helps in smoothing out the delivery of power of the reciprocating engine.

This power is generated due to the difference in the active and driving torque over each thermodynamic cycle. In easier words, it’s a device that stores any excess rotational energy in the system and then uses it intermittently.

Due to the continuous flow of energy, it can be avoided if there is a discontinuity in the energy source. When the flywheel is connected to an automatic transmission, it is called a flex plate.


What is Governor?

A mechanical device that can control the mean speed of an engine when there is a varying load is called a governor. It is a compulsory device used in all engines which measures and regulates the engine’s speed even if there are variations in the load.

Also, it maintains the speed of the vehicle within specific limits. When the load varies, the governor controls the fuel supply and changes the configuration likewise. It cannot store or provide energy like the flywheel.


Main differences Between Flywheel and Governor

  1. Flywheel is a heavy rotating wheel that reduces the jerk due to certain vehicle speed variations. In contrast, Governor is a device that controls the variations in speed due to the varying loads.
  2. The working mechanism of the flywheel consists of limiting the fluctuations in speed due to the difference between active torque and driving torque during each thermodynamic cycle. In contrast, by adjusting the fuel supply, the governor’s working mechanism ensures the engine runs at its mean speed within the specified limits under conditions with varying loads.
  3. The operation of the Flywheel is continuous and always under operation, whereas the operation of the governor is only when the engine is not running at its mean speed.
  4. Flywheel is not compulsory for every engine, while the governor is compulsory for all engines.
  5. Flywheel is heavier than the governor and also has more amount of inertia in comparison to the governor.
Difference Between Flywheel and Governor

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Flywheel vs Governor: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article’s clear explanations of the functions and distinctions between flywheels and governors contribute to a deeper understanding of their roles in controlling and stabilizing engine operations.

    1. I concur, Lola. The article’s lucid descriptions make these technical concepts accessible to a wider audience.

  2. Avatar of Patricia Thompson
    Patricia Thompson

    The comparison table is particularly helpful in distinguishing the functions and usage of flywheels and governors. It streamlines the information effectively.

    1. The table helps in highlighting the distinct characteristics of flywheels and governors, making it easier to grasp the concepts.

  3. The article’s emphasis on the mandatory usage of governors in all engines and the differences in weight and inertia between flywheels and governors is enlightening. It adds a new dimension to understanding their significance.

    1. Agreed, Keith. The article provides a holistic view of the key characteristics and requirements of flywheels and governors.

  4. It’s interesting to note how the flywheel operates constantly, while the governor only operates when the engine is not running at its mean speed. This has important implications for the control of the engine’s speed and power output.

    1. I appreciate the comparative analysis of the working mechanisms of flywheels and governors. It gives a comprehensive understanding of their respective roles.

  5. The article’s explanation of the functionality of flywheels and governors is thorough and insightful. It helps in understanding the critical roles they play in maintaining stability and control in engines.

    1. Indeed, the article provides a deep dive into the technical aspects of flywheels and governors, catering to the readers’ need for detailed information.

  6. The detailed comparison of the working mechanisms of flywheels and governors enhances our understanding of the technical aspects involved. It’s indeed an enriching read.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Irichardson. The technical insights provided in the article are commendable.

  7. The article effectively outlines the functions, working mechanisms, and usage requirements of flywheels and governors, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of these vital components.

    1. The article’s well-structured content adds immense value to readers seeking in-depth knowledge about flywheels and governors.

    2. The comprehensive coverage of the technical details of flywheels and governors is highly informative and engaging.

  8. Avatar of Francesca Hill
    Francesca Hill

    The article provides a clear and concise explanation of the similarities and differences between flywheels and governors, making it easier to understand their function and importance.

  9. The article’s elaborate descriptions of flywheels and governors provide valuable insights into their operations, emphasizing the importance of these mechanical devices in maintaining speed and stability in engines.

    1. Absolutely, Stewart. The article’s detailed analysis is commendable in elucidating the key functions of flywheels and governors.

  10. The detailed description of flywheel as a device for smoothing power delivery and the governor as a speed control mechanism is truly enlightening. The article effectively communicates these intricate technical concepts.

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