Rhombic Drive for Speed Governor

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Four rods are attached to each other with hinges at the vertices of a rhombus. Two of the sides are extended, with balls attached at their ends. The top vertex has a constant height. As you rotate the whole assembly, the balls move upward due to centrifugal force. The bottom vertex rises in proportion to the speed; therefore, it can be used to control the speed. A similar arrangement, called a flyball governor, was used by James Watt in his steam engine.

Contributed by: Sándor Kabai (July 2007)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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