The article ‘The Use of Energy in Malaysia: Tracing Energy Flows from Primary Source to End Use’ by Chinhao Chong, Weidou Ni, Linwei Ma, Pei Liu and Zheng Li features the two Sankey diagrams below. The article is available open access in Energies 2015, 8(4), pp. 2828-2866.

The first diagram is an ‘Energy Allocation Diagram’ that is structured (from left to right) in columns, fuel, primary energy supply (energy generation), primary energy supply (energy conversion), consumption/use in different sectors. The consuming sectors (transport, commercial, residential, etc.) are further broken down into groups, offering one more level of detail. Flows are in million tonnes of oil equivalents (Mtoe), data is for 2011.

The other Sankey diagrma offers a detailed view of oil and oil products. Flows are also shown in Mtoe, data again for 2011. The upper half is domestic production, the bottom part shows imports. ‘ATF’ could be automobile transmission fuel (machine oil), not sure about ‘AV’. Losses and stock changes branch out vertically to the top.

A nice, really well-structured diagram. Clear and comprehensible.

The 2012 GEA Global Energy Assessment report (GEA Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK and New York, NY, USA and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria) features five maps showing energy trade in the world on pages 128/129.

These can almost be considered Sankey diagrams, so I am featuring them here on the blog.

This one is for embodied energy in trade goods.

And this one is a classic oil and oil product trade flows map:

Flows lead from a specific color-coded region to another. The quantities are clustered in arrows with three different widths as shown in the legend (1, 5, 10 Exajoule)

This Sankey diagram made it on the cover of the report ‘Cost analysis applied to sustainable product design’ published by IHOBE Basque Ecodesign Center.

Not directly related to the content of the report this is a diagram on the energy flows of EU-27 countries in 2007.

Rytec, a Swiss-based consulting firm, is the author of a 2011 report that compares 29 waste incinerators in Switzerland in regard to their energy flows.

The report ‘Einheitliche Heizwert- und Energiekennzahlenberechnung der Schweizer KVA nach europäischem Standardverfahren’ (translation: Uniform heating value and energy indicators calculation for Swiss waste incinerators according to European standard method) was comissioned by Swiss Environment Agency (BFU) and Swiss Energy Agency (BFE).

The annex contains 29 Sankey diagrams like the following:

All waste incinerator Sankey diagrams are structured similarly, allowing direct comparison of efficiency and energy output mix. Data is for 2009.

The first diagram is for KVA Basel (waste incinerator Basel), the second for KVA Oftringen (waste incinerator Oftringen, Aargau). Basel is much larger (incinerated waste with energy content of 710 GWh in 2009) and serves an urban area. Oftringen is smaller and seems to be more of a regional waste incinerator (incinerated waste with energy content of 237 GWh in 2009).

Basel apparently sells off the heat to the district heating system or neighbouring industry (yellow arrow ‘Wäremexport’) and converts only a small fraction to electricity. Oftringen on the other hand sells off electric energy (43 GWh) with apparent losses (grey arrow 122,5 GWh).

A lot more to discover when comparing these two (and the other 27) Sankey diagrams.

U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the Annual Energy Review (AER) with data for 2014 on their website. Other diagrams, e.g. for coal or natural gas are also available.

This is from March 2015, so data is preliminary. Flows are in quadrillion BTU. Older Sankey diagrams are available (like this one for 2008), so everyone can compare and identify changes over the past years.

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) looks at substances or materials, often with a regional or national scope. MFA also has a stronger emphasis on stocks and stock changes. From the MFA blog (see blogroll on the right) comes the below diagram on lead flows.

The grey area delimits a region. Lead flow quantities are in tonnes per year. ‘Imports’ (to be understood as contamination or ingression here) to the region are from the left, ‘exports’ to the right. There is a net increase of lead ‘stocks’ in the region (accumulation in landfill).

Flows are on the same scale only for smaller quantities. The two large flows would have to be drawn much wider if they were on the same scale. Instead they have an upper cut-off indicated by the labels “>240″ and “>330″.

As a toddler my Mom read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar‘ to me, and I noticed that the book is still around today. So I thought you might like the following mini-Sankey diagram I found on an educational website.

Of all the energy contained in the leaves (or apples, pears, strawberries …) the caterpillar eats, half turns into feces, and some 33% is for cellular respiration. Only approximately 17% is for growth of the caterpillar. It seemed more than that to me at the time…

In most parts of Europe, Russia and Northern a partial solar eclipse is observed today. People can feel how temperatures drop and dusk seems to begin even though the day has just begun… Time to remember that the sun powers our planet.

This Sankey diagam from the GEA 2012 report (Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK and New York, NY, USA and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria) page 773 shows that the “amount of solar energy available on Earth (estimated at 3.9 million EJ/yr) is many times the present human energy use (~528 EJ in 2009)”.