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The Governors Device

8/26/2013 5:19:53 PM | by Anonymous


Governors, in technological sense, are devices for automatic control of speed, pressure and temperature by regulating the rate of fuel, steam, or water to a machine. It works by increasing the supply of fuel when the loads increased and decreases it when it detected a decrease in the load to keep the prime mover in uniform motion. Governors were invented during the early times as a respond to the needs of industries. Textile, tableware, coal mining, steel mills and other industries were in a look out for a device that can provide stable engine speed for their steam engines. Governors allow several machines to produce products of the same quality as their performance is regulated at a constant speed.


Governors can be generally classified as Centrifugal and Inertia governors. Centrifugal governors contain parts that enable it to control the speed of an engine stable. They run depending on the centrifugal force that the weighted balls generate. The centrifugal motion of the balls is responsible for the movement of the governors which is rotary and up and down. During the 17th century, this type was used on windmills and millstones for regulating pressure and distance. Then it became common sight on modern steam engines where the access of steam into the cylinder is regulated.


Inertia governors, on the other hand, work differently as compared to centrifugal governors. The governor balls are arranged in a way that their positions can be altered by the angular acceleration or retardation of the governor shaft. This process is its advantage over the other governor. The movement of the governor caused by acceleration brings a quicker response on the change of load as compared to a centrifugal governor that acts due to change of speed. However, the latter is still widely used because of the difficulty of arranging for a complete balance of the former’s revolving parts.


The invention of governor has brought great advancement on various industries. Today, governors are being applied on cars as it is a legal requirement to install a device that will limit the top speed of vehicles. Aircraft also has what is called a propeller governor which regulates the engine revolutions per minute. Many piston-engine aircraft, nowadays, holds an RPM which ranges between 2,000 to 2,500. Propeller engines do this by adjusting the blade angle of the propeller through the aircraft’s oil supply which contains an internal piston used to put oil pressure to the propeller.


The purpose of adjusting the aircraft’s propeller blade is to maximize its engine’s performance in different phases of flight. This applies during the aircraft’s taking off stage. In order for the aircraft to take off on the runway at a short distance, the aircraft’s performance has to be on its maximum. This is done by setting the RPM to its maximum which results to propeller governor’s adjusting the propeller’s blade. It will then produce a maximum amount of air per rotation boosting engine’s efficiency. Other phases of aircraft’s flight in which the role of propeller governors in maximizing engine’s performance serve important function include cruise, climb and descent.

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