Oftentimes, a lot of confusion comes up regarding the difference between the governor and the actuator. Even though they both play an important function in any engine, there’s still a significant difference between how these two parts operate. In order to shed some light on the difference between actuator and governor, our mechanical specialists at Ace Power Parts will describe how each of these engine parts work. Read on to learn more about the difference between Woodward actuators and Woodward governors. Ace Power Products, LLC is a top provider of industrial machine parts in the United States. Call Ace Power Products, LLC at our Wellington, FL office today!


Actuator Vs. Governor Engine Parts


  • Woodward governor working principle- The governor is engineered to maintain constant speed in an engine through regulating the load. Putting on extra load will slow the engine down and vice versa, which is why the governor is there in order to make sure there is constant speed no matter whether the load is increased or decreased. Woodward governors are based on a simple principle: constant speed is maintained by controlling the fuel racks. Governors have their own oil supply, and losing oil pressure will activate security measures, shutting the engine down safely. The governor relies on a set of mechanical flyweights, which combine with hydraulic pistons. The position of the flyweights is ultimately determined by engine speed, and as the speed changes, the weights move.
  • Woodward actuator working principle- Actuators receive input manually, and lets the engine engage or disengage. Depending on the type of actuator, the signal is able to be electrical, hydraulic, or of any other origin. The role of the actuator in a diesel generator is to change the control unit’s signal into a mechanical control movement in order to regular fuel intake, and therefore serves as an essential link between the governor and the fuel-control input. There are different kinds of actuators sorted according to their control system, such as hydraulic or mechanical actuators that have a linear or rotational output shaft, which is connected to the fuel system. If the governor has to make a correction in  fuel input, the shaft moves in the  correct direction in order to stabilize the fuel intake setting. With electrical actuators, an electrical signal is converted to a mechanical movement that alters the fuel setting. 


Types Of Woodward Actuators


Woodward, the leading actuator manufacturer in the industry, provides linear, rotary, and hydro-mechanical actuators. Some of the most popular Woodward actuator models are:

  • Woodward UG Actuator- Has an individual oil supply and can be used with diesel, natural gas, or gasoline engines along with steam or gas turbines.
  • Woodward PGA-EG Actuator- Combines the reliability of a PG governor with the flexibility of an electronic control system.
  • Woodward PG-EG Actuator- This is an electric actuator powered by a hydraulic system and is able to take the place of most standard governors on a diesel engine.


Contact Us Today


It’s important to know the difference between Woodward actuators and Woodward governors. Ace Power Products, LLC is headquartered in Wellington, FL and ships all across the United States. Call Ace Power Products, LLC for your engine parts today!