Craig Meskell from Trinity College, Dublin submitted the Sankey diagram below for publication on the blog.


Craig writes:

“here’s a Sankey diagram of the energy balance in an industrial compressed air system. The factory is situated in Ireland (not too far from Co. Tipperary!) [Note from Phineas: this is where Cpt. Sankey was born]. The work is detailed in: Eret, P., C. Harris, G. O’Donnell & C. Meskell, A practical approach to investigating energy consumption of industrial compressed air systems. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A (Journal of Power and Energy), 2011. DOI: 10.1177/0957650911423173″

A nice, simple, clear diagram. Thank you. If other readers have Sankey diagrams to share, please send them to blog@sankey-diagrams.com

A follow up to this 2009 post. Here is a 2020 energy flow Sankey diagram for Ireland. This is one of many interesting graphs to be found inthe post ‘A Review of Green Energy Growth Prospects at the Oil Economy Maxima’ on the ASPO Ireland (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas – Irish Chapter) blog.

Colm from carbontracking.com in a comment to this blog post on Energy Flows in Ireland pointed me to an updated version of this Sankey diagram for 2007.

Sustainable Energy Ireland has published the report “Energy Ireland – Key Statistics 2008″.

This is the updated overall energy flow Sankey diagram from the report.

And here is another interesting one from the same report. It features the fuels used for transportation in Ireland with a breakdown by vehicle type.

All flows are in ktoe (1000 tonnes of oil equivalent, 1 ktoe = 41868 GJ). The flows seem to be mostly to scale, although there must be a problem with the flow ‘Refining Losses 6 ktoe’ which seems wider than the ‘Rail 47 ktoe’ flow, for example. Private cars consume most energy of all vehicle types (2184 out of 5685 ktoe or 38.4 %) , followed by trucks (road freight) and airplanes.

I won’t be commenting on the 3D design of the Sankey diagrams, which is definitely … eye-catching. Colm asked which software has been used to create these, but another reader had already pointed out in a comment that it is based on SankeyHelper, but has undergone retouching in Illustrator.

Another runner-up in my private “Fancy Sankey Diagram” contest definitely is this Sankey diagram shown on a webpage of the Longford Environmental Alliance (LEA) from Ireland.

It visualizes the “Energy Balance for 2005 as a flow diagram showing our inputs from the left hand side and our outputs or usages on the right hand side.” It is a 3-D image, and kind of floats above the ground, although it doesn’t have a fancy shadow effect as this one does.

I have shown similar diagrams for California, Japan, Sri Lanka, Scotland and the U.S. before. In these national energy balances the various energy sources are shown as entries from the left, while consuming sectors (or the “sinks”) are displayed as output arrows. This Irish Sankey diagram distinguishes ‘Agriculture’ as a separate sector.

Well done Éire, home of late Mr. Sankey…