To regulate the fluctuations in speed of a vehicle we use a mechanical devices called Flywheel and Governors.These two components serves almost the same purpose i.e Speed Regulation/Control , but with the difference in the point of impact or area of impact.

While a flywheel regulates the variation of speed at crankshaft, governor controls the variation of speed caused by load variation.

The main difference between the two is that the flywheel is always under operation when the engine is running and the operation is continuous from cycle to cycle, whereas the operation is intermittent in case of the governor, which means it only operates when the engine does not run at its mean speed.

Well, both tend to stabilize speed during fluctuations, so the difference seems to lie mainly in the working. Lets take good look at the two.

Let us first start by knowing what is Flywheel ?
Flywheel is a mechanical device specifically designed to store rotational energy.Which is mounted on the crank shaft. Its function is to prevent the fluctuation of engine. It also prevents the jerks to the crankshaft.
Basically, its acts as a reservoir, meaning it stores energy when the supply of the energy is more than that is required for the operation and releases the same when the supply is less than the requirement.
In simple terms, a flywheel stores the excess of rotational energy for intermittent use. It provides continuous energy when the energy source is discontinuous. In automobile engines, it stores energy to help the engine over idle strokes of the piston. It’s often called as a flex plate when connected to automatic transmission.

What is Governors ?
Governor is a mechanical device which is used to regulate the mean speed of the engine, when there are variations in the load.During increase in load, RPM of the engine decreases and it leads to slowing of engine.Now in this case Governor in order to maintain the speed, increase fuel supply to engine, so that speed can be attained to the desired value.But when load on engine increase, then it tends speed up and in this case Governor reduces the supply of fuel to maintain the desired RPM.

There are many types of methods for Governing of I.C Engines, yet few are important types:
  • Hit and miss Governing.
  • Qualitative Governing.
  • Quantitative Governing.
  • Combination system of Governing.
The governor changes the configuration when the load on the engine varies and controls the supply of the fuel accordingly. Unlike a flywheel, it can regulate speed but is unable to store and supply energy when required. It’s used in most engine-powered applications such as tractors, lawn mowers, automobiles, etc. It acts as a cruise control mechanism which keeps the engine running at a specified speed limit of your choosing, regardless of variations in the load. It detects changes in the load and adjusts the throttle accordingly.

The main differences are listed below :-

Summary of Flywheel vs. Governor :-
While the function of a flywheel is to regulate the fluctuations of speed during each cycle, the function of a governor is to keep the mean speed of the engine constant throughout the entire cycle. Flywheel stores rotational energy when the mechanical energy supplied is more than that’s required for operation, whereas a governor regulates the fuel supply according to the varying load conditions. While hypothetically both serve the same purpose, that is speed control, they do it very differently. The main difference in fact lies in the point of impact. This article compares the two on various aspects.

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