Difference between Flywheel and Governor

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In running mechanical system different kinds of fluctuation and variation occurs due to various factors. These kinds of disturbances should be avoided for the accurate performance of mechanical system. The speed of the running parts varies according to loads and power input, so to make the system stable under various fluctuations we require some devices or mechanisms which may be a part of the mechanical system. Flywheel and Governor are the two mechanical devices which are used to control the different kind of variation in speed. The objective of both Governor and Flywheel is little bit same but their applications and operating mechanisms are different.

Flywheel is used to control the fluctuation of speed during the cyclic operation of the engine. It is the kind of heavy rotating wheel which is suitably attached with the crank shaft. Sometimes we can call it Energy/Power storing device because generally the mass of flywheel is quite heavy due to this it can provide large moment of inertia. In engine during the period of power stroke flywheel store the energy which is more than the requirement and release it when it requires or at the time of other then power stroke.

The function of the governor is quite different, it is used to maintain the constant speed of the running component. The speed of the engine varies due to the load so to maintain constant speed within specific range governor comes into play. Governor maintain the constant speed by regulating the fuel supply.

For better understanding the difference between flywheel and governor are given below in tabular form:-



It is a heavy mass rotating wheel attached to the crank shaft which is used to control the fluctuations of speed during different cyclic operations.



It is kind of mechanism which is used to maintain the constant speed during various loading conditions.



Flywheel does not regulate mean speed i.e. it does not control the variation in speed during different variation of loads. It helps in reducing the fluctuations only.



Governor regulates the mean speed of the running machine during the various loading conditions. It has no control on the cyclic fluctuations.



Flywheel stores the energy during the power stroke when requirement is less and transfer to shaft when it requires during other strokes of engine.



Governor works only to keep the mean speed of running machine constant by regulating the fuel supply. When the load increases the fuel supply increases by opening of throttle and vice versa.



Flywheel has large moment of inertia because of the heavy mass of rotating wheel. The wheel is generally made up of Cast Iron because of the high density.



Governor is a kind of mechanism having less moment of inertia as compare to flywheel.



The flywheel is always mechanically operated and attached to the crank shaft. The flywheel and crank shaft rotate simultaneously.



Governor is also a mechanical device but sometimes it may be electronically operated.



The flywheel is always under operation when the engine is in running condition as it is attached with the crank shaft.



The operation of governor comes into play when the engine is not running at its mean speed.



Flywheel controls the variation of speed in each cycle of the operating engine.



Governor controls the mean speed only when load varies or when it’s required by adjusting the fuel supply.



Applications: ·        

Flywheel reduces fluctuation in engines. 

It is used in IC engines of automobiles, punching press and rolling mills etc.




overnor is required where constant speed should be maintained for example turbines and generators etc.


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