David Yanofsky from the Bloomberg Newsroom advised me of a Sankey Diagram he did on U.S. Energy Flows. The diagram is based on the well-known Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) diagrams and shows the 94.6 quads (1 quad = 1 quadrillion BTUs) estimated energy use in the United States in 2009.

The Sankey diagam has a nice mouse over effect, that let’s the user explore the stream as they are highlighted in different colors. The nodes show the contribution from different carriers. Additional information is available when positioning the mouse over the orange bullets. This makes the diagram fun to explore…

In this image the lost energy is highlighted in red.

In the above screenshot the energy flows based on petroleum are shown in brown color, all other flows in light grey.

These are only two static screenshots, please go over to the Bloomberg site to see more.

A recent report prepared by Kumar, Subramanyam and Kabir of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta in Edmonton describes “Development of Energy, Emission and Water Flow Sankey Diagrams for the Province of Alberta Through Modeling”. Canada has been underrepresented with Sankey diargams on this blog, I feel. But the numerous Sankey diagrams on water and energy really compensates for this lag: I counted 12 more or less beautiful Sankey diagrams. Here is an example:

This is for the energy consumption in Alberta. Flows are in PJ (not sure which year they refer to). There are also several Sankey diagrams in this report for the water catchment areas of rivers (pp. 27-34).

Download the full report here (caution 6.5 MB PDF)

Found this very simple online Sankey diagram drawing application developed by Jan Stępień. It is a very very basic interface where you can define nodes (“Processes”) and streams (“Reagents”) between source and sink nodes. The whole thing is in black and white and you will get outputs like these:

I played around a bit with the tool, but didn’t quite manage to do my own Sankey diagram. See for yourself. The code is open source, so if anyone wants to contribute… I updated my software list.