Category: General

sankey-diagrams.com – New Look

I had some downtime due to an unexpected issue with the blog, but everything is fine again now. Big shout-out to Chris who helped me with backup and recover.

The old theme didn’t work any more with the latest WordPress release, so I ended up with a new theme too. Still tweaking some of the font sizes and colors, but here we go.

After 12 years (since the first post in 2007) with the same look a refresh was probably justified.

Sankey GDPR choice

Among the literally hundreds of e-mails that flooded my inbox the last couple of days, urging me to consent to receiving e-mails in the future, one particularly caught my attention, since it used a Sankey diagram pic to convey the message:

My choice made clear in a simple visualization … Did I click the button? Yes I did!

Australian Energy Flows 2012/2013

After posting on Australian Metals Flows yesterday I realized I had never presented a Sankey diagram for energy flows in Australia.

Well, here it is. From the Government of Australia, Clean Energy Regulator, Renewable Energy Target program website comes this beauty (CC-BY license Commonwealth of Australia):


One can really say that Australia is mainly exporting its energy. Flows in Petajoule (PJ) for the year 2012/13. Older energy flow diagrams available in the Australian Atlas of Minerals, Resources and Processing Centres here.

Australian Metal Flows

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) is an association of the minerals industry. In this AusIMM Bulletin article titled ‘From Waste to Wealth’ they talk about metal recovery and recycling in Australia.

This Sankey diagram (actually two Sankey diagrams) from the article visualizes metal flows in Australia in 2012/2013 based on data from Golev & Corder (2014).

The smaller yellow diagram section on the left actually just shows mining activities in Australia and the fact that the largest portion of mining output (ores) are exported. Only 7.5 Mt are processed within Australia. This Sankey arrow is then blown up and corresponds to the yellow input stream into the second diagram [a similar solution to decouple diagrams with different scales was presented in yesterday’s post].

In the metal production process there are losses, and material is being exported and imported. The annual increase to the Australian ‘in use stocks’ (i.e. metals being used infrastructure, buildings and products) is 12 Mt, possible only thanks to 7 Mt metals imports. Some 7 Mt of metals are also released annually from ‘in use stocks’.

The dotted lines signal that there are possible routes, but either outside the scope of the Australian market or no reliable data is available (new scrap from the manufacturing step being fed back to the smelting).

2016 Wishes Sankey Diagram

OK, this doesn’t claim to be scientific at all. Credits for this idea go to Mariluz Congosto who did such a New Year’s Wishes Sankey Diagram in Spanish two years ago.

This time I refrain from criticism of the Sankey diagram. I could say that there are no units given for the flow quanities. Also, weight of the contributions to the four categories will in most personal cases not be equal. Love must certainly have a much fatter arrow. For some, prosperity might have more importance. Are the categories weighted properly amongst each other? Are the colors chosen appropriately? 😉

Best wishes to all readers of the blog. Have a very happy new year 2016 full of health, happiness, luck and prosperity! For a recipe use the Sankey diagram above.

Original Sankey diagram for 2014 by Mariluz Congosto with whom I share an afición:

Energy Efficiency made in Hesse

An English-language publication ‘A Practical Guide to Energy Efficiency in Production Processes’ published by the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport, Urban and Regional Development of the federal German state Hesse (PDF here) describes a structured approach and methodological toolbox to increase energy efficiency in large manufacturing companies. It also contains practical recommendations.

The below Sankey diagrams are based on data from a pilot implementation (“model project”) at a plastics manufacturer.

This is the Sankey diagram for the energy consumption (electricity and gas) in the existing (baseline) scenario

… and for one of the alternatives assessed in the project:

In this alternative scenario, heat is produced from natural gas rather than from electricity, thus reducing transformation losses. Heat recovery measures are also implemented. Flow values are in MWh per year for a given average production volume.

A second alternative scenario with trigeneration is also evaluated (see pp. 43-45 in the report) and potential cost savings and payback time are discussed.

From a design perspective the Sankey diagrams are quite okay, well structured. Some flaws can be noted in arrow segments that run diagonally, where the width of the arrow is not maintained. Overall energy supply and consumption are not shown in the diagram, but only individual values.