School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Mf-3 Watts governor

Published: Thursday 07 June 2007 - Updated: Thursday 24 March 2011


To demonstrate the principles behind the Watts governor.


Model Watts Governor


Click on pictures to enlarge.

Watts Governor Close-up

Watts Governor


Watts Governor

Watts Governor

Watts Governor Video

Watts Governor Real World


The Watts centrifugal governor consists of two heavy balls connected via pinions to a rotating axle. On turning the handle the balls are flung out due to centrifugal forces. The balls are attached via linkage arms and a spring to a collar on the rotating axle. This collar may be connected via some mechanism to the input of the motor or engine controlling the rotation of the axle. The Watts governor is a classic feedback control mechanism. The movie above illustrates the use of a watts type governor attached to the motor control gear for the lifts in the Redmond Barry building at the University of Melbourne.

Safety notes


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