Whether a vessel features a marine diesel engine or another engine type, the governor is a system that is charged with maintaining the mean speed of an engine in accordance with set limitations and fluctuating load conditions. In order to act as a speed controlling device, the governor manages and regulates the flow of fuel that is supplied to the engine, ensuring that certain speeds are not surpassed. Speed controlling devices are paramount to the safe and efficient operation of a marine vessel, preventing damage to engine components and protecting individuals from unsafe operating conditions. As there are multiple governor types that may be used for a variety of marine diesel engines, generators, and alternators, we will discuss the primary types of governors that serve various marine vessels.
Mechanical governors are a type that rely on flyweight components that come in the form of weighted balls. As the governor is rotated by the engine crankshaft, the flyweight components will undergo centrifugal forces that allow them to act as a controlling force. With a throttling mechanism that is attached to injection racks, the moving mechanical governor will regulate the supply of fuel. Typically, mechanical types are small and simplistic, thus their attributes are not sufficient for managing larger engines. Generally speaking, they are most efficient for applications in which speed control is not a requirement. Additionally, they are also quite cheap, making them a suitable option for accommodating assemblies where prices are a concern.
Hydraulic governors are another common variation, and such systems have a weighted assembly that is attached to a control valve. With the control valve, hydraulic fluids can be transferred through the system in order to govern the operation of fuel racks. As such, the valve is then able to control the engine’s speed and power. As compared to the mechanical type, hydraulic governors can produce a greater force that allows them to service medium to large sized engines. With high efficiency, accuracy, and precision, hydraulic governors are highly beneficial for many marine vessels. Despite this, many hydraulic assemblies are being retrofitted for electronic controls, those of which further increase benefits for speed management.
The retrofitted hydraulic governors are known as electro-hydraulic governors, and such devices utilize a two-section actuator for their operations. With an electric governor and a mechanical hydraulic backup, operations are guaranteed as the mechanical hydraulic backup can take over at any point if the electric unit fails. The mechanical backup governor is often set to maintain a speed that surpasses the rated speed, and the electric governor is charged with managing the entire system. With the use of an Electronic Control Box, armature, and electronic control valve, electromagnetic fields may be produced in order to manage and regulate fuel delivery. When one is using the electric governor for operations, the mechanical-hydraulic mode is completely overwritten by the system. As compared to the other common governor types, the electro-hydraulic governor is capable of providing faster responses to load changes and may be designed with various control functions for increased management.
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