Tag: energy

UK Iron and Steel Industry Energy Flows

A hidden gem (or should I say an easter egg) buried deep in an old report ‘ENERGY TRENDS. June 2011’ published by the Energy Statistics Team of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

This is from page 47 of the report. Flows are in TWh. The flow chart is explained on pages 44 to 46, and the actual data for each of the numbered flows can be verified in the table on page 45.

Misc Sankey Diagrams Uncommented 20

Uuh-uh, already Friday afternoon… Here is another quick, almost uncommented Sankey diagram, just to not leave you without one for the weekend.

Argentinian environmental consultancy and engineering firm Neoambiental uses this Sankey diagram on its website (go to section 4) to market their professional experience in energy efficiency studies.


Flows are in TJ. Feedstock is crude (brown arrows) and associated gas (yellow). Grey flows are losses or unused energy, while red represents the actual used energy.

Living Sankey Diagrams

A reader of the blog, Olov, has produced the following video. He calls this a “Living Sankey Diagram”. The background can be found on the Sweco Blog (in Swedish). Basically he suggests to take energy declarations for buildings (‘Energideklarationen’) one step further and have visual energy monitoring for building using realtime data.

Energy consumption of a house is shown over a period of a year with up to 3 or 4 datasets per day. We can see heat (red) and electricity (orange). Not sure about the temperature indication at the top left, possibly meant to be the difference to a default temperature (Olov, if possible, please explain by commenting below).

Main consumers in the building are hot water generation (‘Tappvarmvatten’), room heating (‘Radiatorer’), ventilation and cooling. Some PV cells (‘Solceller’) at times add to the purchased energy (‘Köpt Energi’). The pink flow shows heat recovery (‘Värmeåtervinning’). The building is classified in energy class B.

Here, a data series has been used to produce the Sankey diagrams and then the frames were converted to a video. This makes for a nice effect and allows watching your energy flows in retrospect. For example, the PV cells feed energy mostly during the months, while in the same period heat demand and recovery is very limited.

This was apparently produced using e!Sankey. To really do an energy monitoring and produce the Sankey diagram every couple of minutes, there is a software development kit (SDK) the allows linking to a data source (energy measurement data) and pushing the “living Sankey diagram” to a website. Another example can be found here.

Botswana Energy Flows

Botswana, a country with just over 2 million population, borders South Africa to the North. Would you be able to tell its capital?

Nevertheless, a Sankey diagram with the energy balance of Botswana can be found on the web. Mike Mooiman, a professor at Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire and a former visiting scholar at University of Botswana featured it on his ‘Energy in Botswana’ blog. These are the energy flows for the African country for 2015 (based on IEA data).


Flows are in terajoule (TJ) and overall energy demand was 120,138 TJ. Biomass (wood) is the predominant fuel in private households (e.g. for cooking). Locally mined coal accounts for 40% of the primary energy and is used for electricity generation with an efficiency factor of below 30%. Imported oil products account for over 40% of the energy consumed (mainly for transportation).

The 2012 energy balance for Botswana is also available on Mike’s blog.

Energy Flows in Wood Gasification Plant

Most Sankey diagrams I find on the web are from Germany, Switzerland or Austria. Anybody in the know, if this due to the visualization type being part of the engineering curriculae in these countries?

Here is one I found on ‘The Wood Power Plant’ blog by Austrian firm Syntec. It is originally taken from a student master thesis on ‘Life Cycle Analysis of Electricity and Heat Generation of a Wood Gasification Plant including District Heating Network’ (German title: ‘Lebenszyklusanalyse der Strom- und Wärmeerzeugung einer Holzvergasungsanlage inklusive Nahwärmenetz’, thanks Google Translate – you are my friend!) by Elena Käppler of University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg.

While being graphically quite appealing there are some issue with this Sankey diagram. Flows don’t seem to add up correctly: for example the main stream 4.838 MWh and the 401 MWh coming in at the top would be larger than 5.171 MWh.
Also, some flows are not true to scale. Check out the red arrow representing 247 MWh (going down to ‘Verteilungsverluste’) and compare it to the red one going back in a loop, which represents 419 MWh (‘Hackguttrocknung’).

Swiss Sankey Sweetness

Unpretentious and humble, quietly producing beautifully crafted Sankey diagrams … this is one reason why I admire the Swiss (and also for their Swiss Schoki, cheese and engineering skills).

This is the energy flow chart for the Swiss canton ‘Basel-Stadt’ for 2014 published by the Statistics Agency of the canton (Statistisches Amt des Kantons Basel-Stadt).

Flows are in Gwh. Nine different energy sources on the left, but only three sectors of energy use: transport, residential and non-residential. Observe how the colors of the icons match the corresponding colors of the arrows. Flow quantities below approximately 150 GWh are not true to scale and are drawn with a minimum width to keep them visible. The footnote alerts the reader to this graphical pecularity.

This Sankey diagram does set a standard for other similar energy flow charts, in my opinion.

Download the report from here (in German), the diagram is on page 11.

Energy Flows in The Netherlands 2016

The below Sankey diagram depicting energy flows in the Netherlands in 2016 is very interesting. Actually it features two dimensions: energy production and consumption (from top to bottom) and energy imports and exports (from left to right). This is quite different from other national energy balances I have presented on this blog before (such as e.g. for Switzerland 2015, Chile 2015, Lithuania 2013, or Sweden 2014)

It can be found in the ‘Compendium voor de Leefomgeving’ (Environmental Data Compendium) a website run by the Dutch Government (Rijksoverheid) and is titled ‘Aanbod en verbruik van energiedragers in Nederland, 2016’ (Supply and consumption of energy carriers in The Netherlands, 2016).

Data for this Sankey diagram is from Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS). Flows are in petajoule (PJ). Locally produced energy (‘Winning’) in 2015 was at 2.023 PJ, with a consumption (‘Verbruik’) of 3.155 PJ.
So, the Netherlands still had to import some 1.000 PJ to cover demand. However, it imported 11.275 PJ (‘Invoer’) and exported 9.559 PJ (‘Uitvoer’). In the first pace, the Netherlands seem to be an energy transit country. This is owed to the fact that Rotterdam is the largest oil port in Europe, and is a prime location for handling oil products (‘Aardolieproducten’).