From Dr. Sanjay Vashishtha at Firstgreen Consulting blog comes this Sankey diagram on energy output of a photovoltaics (PV) system. The article on ‘Estimation of Solar PV System Output’ dates back to 2012.

Simple unicolor left-to-right diagram with losses branching out vertically to the bottom. At every step energy efficiency in percent is shown, leaving 65% of the primary solar radiation input as power at meter. Losses have a stronger emphasis due to arrow spikes.

In most parts of Europe, Russia and Northern a partial solar eclipse is observed today. People can feel how temperatures drop and dusk seems to begin even though the day has just begun… Time to remember that the sun powers our planet.

This Sankey diagam from the GEA 2012 report (Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK and New York, NY, USA and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria) page 773 shows that the “amount of solar energy available on Earth (estimated at 3.9 million EJ/yr) is many times the present human energy use (~528 EJ in 2009)”.

Managed to translate most from a website on process heat from solar systems installed in a brewery I had found recently. (again a Sankey diagram from a brewery!). The article sports four different Sankey diagrams for the energy flows in the brewery: one for the entire calendar year 2010, and three further ones for January (winter mode), March (transition period) and July (summer mode) of the same year. This work at Hofmühlbrauerei Eichstätt brewery was apparently supported by Technical University of Chemnitz.

March:

July:

Energy is obtained from three different solar collector fields with different harvest. Flows are in kWh. Energy harvest in March was 75.158 kWh, and in July went up to 132.155 kWh. A description of the whole system and photos can be seen on this page (text in German only).

There are three consumers (the three pink boxes at the right)) that each have different demands depending on the season: Indoor heating (“Raumheizung”), brewing water and domestic water pre-heating (“Brau- und Brauchwasservorwärmung” – Google Translate didn’t help me on this one…) and warm water for the bottle washing machine (“Flaschenwaschmaschine”).

While in winter most of the energy from the solar collector system is directed to indoor heating, in summer it is the opposite: since no indoor heating is needed the whole energy harvest can go to water heating for the other machines. The storage tanks also have a color scheme indicating the temperature.

Very nice! Good work!

Another Sankey diagram type I have come across several times are the very compact ‘block-type’ Sankey diagrams. They basically consist of stacked rectangles, like in the below example from Wikiversity dealing with a solar vehicle project. A left-to-right flow orientation is indicated by the arrow heads peeking out of the stack on the right side.


The diagram shows a breakdown or use of the 100% (31.75W) of solar energy (‘globale straling’). The percentage values always refer to the previous block. This one also has a nice color gradient.

Found these two Sankey diagram on Wikiversity. I think it was somewhere on one of the sub-pages on the small solar vehicle… They show energy losses at the different components of the vehicle, such as at the solar panels or through rolling resistance. Percentage values.

These diagrams are made up from rectangles and simple arrows. Only straight arrows, no curves. The blue color of the border of some of the thinner arrows adds a strange effect…