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Explaining the Difference between Actuator and Governor

Explaining the Difference between Actuator and Governor

A lot of confusion arises over the difference between the governor and the actuator. And while they both play an important part in any engine, there’s a notable difference between how these two operate. In order to shed some light on the difference between actuator and governor, our expert mechanics at PCE describe how each of these devices works.

Woodward Governor Working Principle

We have already talked about governors in one of our previous articles, but here is a brief reminder. The governor is designed to maintain constant speed in an engine by regulating the load. Adding extra load will slow the engine down and vice versa, which is why the governor is in place to ensure constant speed no matter whether the load is increased or decreased.

The working principle behind Woodward governors is simple: constant speed is maintained by controlling the fuel racks. Governors have an independent oil supply and loosing oil pressure will initiate security measures effectively shutting the engine down safely. The governor relies on a set of mechanical flyweights combined with hydraulic pistons. The position of the flyweights is determined by engine speed, and as the speed changes the weighs move.

Woodward Actuator Working Principle

The actuator receives input manually and causes the engine to engage or disengage. Depending on the type of the actuator, the signal can be electrical, hydraulic or of other origin. The function of actuator in diesel generator is to convert the control unit’s signal into a mechanical control movement in order to regulate fuel intake, and therefore it is a crucial link between the governor and the fuel-control input.

There are several types of actuators according to their control system, like hydraulic, pneumatic, electric and other actuators. The hydraulic or mechanic actuator has a linear or rotational output shaft, which is connected to the fuel system. If the governor needs to make a correction in fuel input, the shaft moves in the right direction in order to correct the fuel intake setting. With electrical actuators, an electrical signal is converted to a mechanical movement that alters the fuel setting.

Woodward, the leading actuator manufacturer in the industry, offers linear, rotary and hydro-mechanical actuators. They ensure that the engine responds better and increase performance through a strict speed control. Some of the most common Woodward actuator models are:

Woodward UG Actuator

The UG actuator offers the best combination of electronic control and load distribution systems as well as the existing UG8 drives and linkages. It has an individual oil supply and can be used with diesel, natural gas or gasoline engines as well as steam or gas turbines.

Woodward PGA-EG Actuator

The PGA-EG Actuator combines the reliability of a PG governor with the flexibility of an electronic control system. It can track speed setting pneumatically as a backup method and can be used in combination with other Woodward electronic controls.

Woodward PG-EG Actuator

PG-EG is an electric actuator powered by a hydraulic system and can replace most standard governors on a diesel engine. It can operate with speeds from 200 to 1200 rotations per minute, and through conversion of an electrical input signal controls the hydraulic output shaft position.

Woodward Actuator Troubleshooting San Diego

With over four decades of experience, PCE San Diego offers the most comprehensive service as well as the highest level of expertise. We aim to give you the best value for your money and minimize downtime caused by the malfunction you may be experiencing. For any inquires get in touch through our website contact form, or call any of our offices.
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