What is Watt Governor? What are the types of Watt Governor?

The automotive industry is now on a role in technology and manufacturing. In this article, I will discuss What is Watt Governor in Automobile engines.

What is watt governor

What is Watt Governor

It is the primitive governor used by Watt on some of his early steam engines. It is used for a very slow-speed engine and this is why it has now become obsolete.
The Watt Governor is named after its inventor James Watt. He is the scientist, who delivers some key components to the automotive industry. 
Its primary purpose is to regulate the speed of engines and generators. This system ensures the stable and safe engine operation. The watt governors control the flow of fuel. This control helps to maintain a constant speed and efficiency for the engine.
The components of a Watt Governor typically include a rotating spool valve, a linkage mechanism, and a regulating device. These are the main components used in the system to ensure the better combustion of air-fuel by supplying the correct amount of fuel into the cylinder.

What is Watt Governor’s Working Principle

Watt governor diagram.


This is the diagram of the Watt governor. In this system, two arms are hinged at the top of the spindle and two revolving balls are fitted on the other ends of the arms.
One end of each of the links is hinged with the arms, while the other ends are hinged with the sleeve, which may slide over the spindle. The speed of the crankshaft is transmitted to the spindle through a pair of bevel gears by means of a suitable arrangement.
So the rotation of the spindle of the governor causes the weights to move away from the center due to the centrifugal force. This makes the sleeve move in the upward direction.
This movement of the sleeve is transmitted by the lever to the throttle valve which partially closes or opens the steam pipe and reduces or increases the supply of steam to the engine. So the engine speed may be adjusted to a normal limit.
By monitoring and adjusting the input of air or fuel, the governor ensures the generator maintains a steady rotational speed. This stability prevents fluctuations in electrical output, reduces wear and tear on machinery, and optimizes energy efficiency.

What are the Types of Watt Governor

There are the mainly three main types of watt governors available in the automotive system. These are –
  1. Centrifugal Governor.
  2. Inertia Governor.
  3. Pendulam Governor.


All these types of governors are discussed below in this article. 

1. Centrifugal Governor

Centrifugal Governors used centrifugal force to maintain the air and fuel in the system. These are the types of governors found in steam turbines and internal combustion engines. 
The centrifugal force is used means the system is placed over the engine.  The design of the engine and the engine placement are designed according to the system.


>High precision of control. 
> The response time is quick. 
> These types of governors are suitable for the high engine operations.  


> Power Plants.
> Turbocharges.
> Water turbines.

2. Inertia Governors

The inertia governors are depending on the inertia of the rotating shaft. This rotating shaft regulates the speed.  
This system utilizes heavy flywheels and spring-loaded mechanisms to control the flow of energy. 


> The design is simple. 
> These systems are suitable for low-speed applications.
> The construction is simple. 


> Wind turbine. 
> Diesel Engines(To control fuel)
> Water pumps. 

3. Pendulam Governors

Governors have a pendulum system. Pendulum governors have especially used the motion of the pendulum to operate.  
Pendulum governors adjust the throttle using the motion of the pendulum.  It consists of a pendulum arm, linkages, and a control valve.


> These governors are cost-effective.
> These are the trustworthy governors.
> Pendulam governor is specifically used in middle-speed applications.


> Steam engines
> Reciprocating compressors.
Each and every governor has its own drive mechanism and applications. But all these have limitations just for the mechanical components.

Principle of Watt Governors Design

The design and the diagram of the Watt governors rely upon the mathematical models. These equations control the speed of the arm,  spring tension,  governor dimensions, and load conditions. 
As these are mechanical components, they don’t have precise control over the fuel supply.  The governors can have control based on the Proportional-Integral-Derivative(PID) system. 
The design of the governor depends on the working principle of the governor and the working system of the engine. 

Watt Governors Troubleshooting

Every mechanical component has its own problems.  As the governors are depending upon the mechanical components these have the problems also.  Some of the troubleshooting are-
> These systems need regular maintenance. 
> Each and every part needs proper lubrication to eliminate friction.  
> These have common problems with sticking valves and worn-out spring rings.  
> The components need adjustments during the servicing of the car.  
These are the main problems that happened to the system. 


The watt governor is the mechanical system used in the system for controlling the air-fuel supply to the system. In power generation systems and the transformation of industrial components, the Governor plays a great role or engine safety.  
In this article, I have discussed What is Watt Governo? And the types of watt governors. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a Watt Governor and a speed controller?

A Watt Governor is a specific type of speed controller that regulates the speed of engines and generators, while a speed controller refers to a broader range of devices used to control or adjust the speed of rotational machinery.

How does a centrifugal governor work?

A centrifugal governor operates by utilizing the centrifugal force generated by rotating masses. As the rotational speed changes, the centrifugal force causes the linkage mechanism to adjust the throttle, thereby regulating the speed.

Can a Watt Governor be retrofitted onto existing machinery?

Yes, Watt Governors can be retrofitted onto existing machinery, provided that the necessary modifications and adaptations are made to ensure compatibility and proper integration.

Are there any alternatives to the Watt Governor for power control?

Yes, there are alternative power control systems, such as electronic speed controllers, servo motors, and electronic control units. These systems utilize electronic components and advanced control algorithms to regulate speed and power output.


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