This 3D Sankey diagram for a compressed air system from a Mechanical Engineering blog post is taking it somewhat over the top…

It shows energy efficiency of a compressor. Only a fraction of the energy (electricity) to power the compressor is converted and delivered in compressed air, while the largest chunk is wasted as off-heat.

Yes, the 3D-look is fancy (see other samples of the 3D species here). The elliptic orange backdrop makes it look more dramatic, but doesn’t really contribute to conveying the information. No units are given.

The green arrows represent “simple, cost-effective measures” that could probably increase efficiency of the compressed air system if implemented. The blue arrow that stands for the energy delivered as compressed air is supposedly “approximately 10%” of the energy input, but he height is much less than 1/10th of the stacked arrows.

The ‘Blog Audytorów Sledczych’ had two interesting Sankey-style diagrams.

The first is the trade balance of Poland for the month January 2014. Flows are in Euro (trade volume). There is a trade surplus of 176,4 million Euros. Unfortunately only the legend shows what the arrow colors mean, but it is not legible in this screenshot.

The second one focuses on the five main trade partners of Poland. Here the value of imported goods is higher (8,7 billion Euro) than the value of exported goods (8,5 billion Euro).

Again the legend is somewhat difficult to decipher, but we can see Germany, Czech Republic, UK and Russia. Largest trade partner (both regaring import and export) is Germany (large orange arrows).

Trade imbalance is visually barely noticeable, just by a slight step when looking at the incoming and outgoing arrows.

A new tutorial video showing how to build a Sankey diagram with e!Sankey. The example they use is a steel reheating furnace.

via ifu Hamburg YouTube channel

Only energy flows in Kwh depicted. If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, skip to the 6:00 mark to still get some of the better stuff like how to do loops, hiding nodes or making color gradients on arrows.

Tom Van Heeswijk and Changsoon Choi, landscape architecture master students at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have created the below “preliminary Sankey diagram of the Amsterdam energy system”. This is part of the larger project URBAN PULSE described on the research page of the NRG lab website.

Only the top part of a larger Sankey diagram is seen here, the bottom part with fossil fuels apparently cropped. No units or figures shown, so just a schematic visualization.

Nevertheless some interesting features: in contrast to many other Sankey diagrams, nodes are not depicted with outlines but shown as gaps with their name. Electricity is highlighted as red bands while all other flows have a single-hatching fill pattern.

Beauty of simplicity…

From a slideshow by Convion (Finland) on its fuel cell technology.

Using a feed of 8,42 kg natural gas per hour with an energy content of 114,75 KW (based on the lower heating value) the CHP equipment yields 59,5 KW electric energy and heat. Biogas or hydrogen can also be used as fuel.

Electrical efficiency is between 53 and 65% net AC, the total energy efficiency is larger 85%.

An updated diagram of the energy flows in Europe has been published on the European Energy Agency (EEA) website. This is for the EU-28 states.


Copyright holder: European Environment Agency (EEA)

I had previously posted about the 2010 diagram (here). The data is for 2012. Flows are in MToe.

Another wild like-to-be Sankey diagram. Found this on a resources and links list related to ‘material flow’ hosted at Hiroshima University.

The diagram is from a white paper on a ‘Recycling Society’ published 2006 by the Japanese Environment Ministry (HTML version). Data is for the year Heisei 15 (=2003), the book was published in 2006.

The title 平成15年度における我が国の循環資源フロー can be translated as ‘The resource flow cycle in Japan in 2003’ (any other suggestion from a native Japanese speaker out there?).

Flows are in million tons (百万t) per year as indicated in the top right. Values in square brackets relate to the previous year (2002). Flows are not to scale and their width seems to be chosen almost deliberately.

The diagram itself is a very interesting depiction of national material flows. Starting out from the 582 million tons of material (green box lower left), a large portion (220 million tons) is recycled, either directly as rejects from production (96 million tons) or after product use (124 million tons). 3 million tons are reused.

Still trying to figure out some more translations… three more thoughts:
(1) Could this general diagram setup serve as a role model to visualize reuse and recycling in a country. What are the common standards in national MFA accounts for this?
(2) Can I do this more nicely with a modern Sankey diagram software? Would be a nice challenge (mostly for the Kanji characters!)
(3) What would be the picture for Japan in 2015 in comparison to 2003?

Austrian office furniture manufacturer Wiesner Hager is looking to increase efficiency in their production system, and to make more sustainable products. To this end they have being doing Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and have published Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

On their website they feature two Sankey diagrams.

The first is the corporate material balance. Flows are in tons (probably for one year, although not indicated). Raw materials and water constitute the largest inputs, while on the output side vapour and sewage dominate, next to the actual products.

The other is the energy balance. Flows are in MWh. The energy carriers (fuels) depcited also show up (as mass) in the above material inventory. Looking at the steam input, it is not clear what fuel is used to run the boiler.