Month: March 2011

Embodied Carbon Sankey Diagram

I found the idea behind the below Sankey diagrams quite compelling. Both are from the user manual of the ‘Umberto for Carbon Footprint’ software by ifu Hamburg. They are also the makers of e!Sankey, and it seems as if most of the e!Sankey software features are also included in this new software for modeling and calculating product carbon footprints.

I played with the demo models included in the trial version, one of which is for a toy parrot. The product life cycle is modeled from cradle-to-grave with the raw materials, assembly, distribution, use, and end-of-life phases. Using embodied carbon data from an LCI database for the raw materials and energy used along the life-cycle, a carbon footprint is calculated. The material and energy flows related to the product manufacturing and use are then shown as a Sankey diagram.

The Sankey view can be switched to an ’embodied carbon’ or carbon load view, which shows the ‘carbon rucksack’ of the product as it cumulates along the supply chain.

In this second Sankey diagram the arrows representing the greenhouse gas burdens caused by the waste disposal phase are turned around, so that both the upstream supply chain as well as the downstream processing after the product use are visually added. They form one large Sankey arrow (shown in green here) for the product’s carbon footprint.

This is of course not a Sankey diagram drawing software, but rather a modeling or calcalation tool for carbon footprints. Still, I think, this is a fine use case where Sankey diagrams unfold their full visualization power. It can be immediately grasped which stage of the life cycle, or which raw material or energy supply contributes most to the carbon footprint.

Note: Have added this to the software list.

Inspired by Libya Oil Export Sankey

The recent events in Libya have led to an increased interest in my Libya Oil Export Sankey diagram I created and featured almost three years ago here on the blog.

This post on the Infantile Disorder blog is deep-linking the Sankey diagram, to my disappointment without mentioning the source, and – even worse – without stating that these are 2006 figures.

The idea of presenting oil exports as a Sankey diagram has also been taken up by AFP Infographic Service in Germany. They did their homework and updated the values with data from the International Energy Agency. Instead of simple Sankey arrows, the info graphic shows oil pipes with a diameter representing the percentage values. An oil drop can be seen at the mouth of each pipe… Unfortunately this material is copyrighted, so I won’t feature it here. But you might want to check out the AFP Infographic on Libya Oil Export Sankey on the news portal of N24.

Italy Energy Flows 2004

Came across the below Sankey diagram showing the energy balance for Italy in 2004. This diagram is from the website of the Italian company InterEnergy.

The setup of the Sankey diagram is similar to the other national energy flow diagrams I have shown in previous posts here on the blog, such as this one for Spain, these two for the United Kingdom, or here for the United States.

The breakdown on the left side shows the fuel types: natural gas (‘Metano’), oil (‘Petrolio’), coal (‘Carboni’), and the renewable energy sources in green. The separate grey flow shows energy imports. Both, percentage values in reference to the primary energy content, as well as absolute figures (in Mtep – million tons of petroleum equivalents, ‘milioni di tonnellate equivalenti di petrolio’ in Italian) are given. Part of the fuels is consumed directly in the different final use sectors (‘usi finali’), a part is used to generate electric energy (blue), and heat (orange). Some of the heat is used through cogeneration, but the major part is lost.

Misc Sankey Diagrams Uncommented 02

Here is another one … enjoy!

Same topic as in my previous post, heat flows and losses, this time in a continous furnace. Recovered heat loop is strange: arrows gets wider in the curves, as if painted by hand. Funny serpent arrow for opening (radiation) losses. No values given. All arrows have the same colour. Source: Article ‘Quest for Fire – Combustion Basics’ by by Daniel H. Herring. Published October 2, 2009 on Industrial Heating. The International Journal of Thermal Technology.

Misc Sankey Diagrams Uncommented 01

I was busy with work, so hardly published any Sankey diagram related posts in the last two weeks. My cache of diagrams on my hard disk is very large, but the problem is to find time to discuss them and show them here. I have therefore decided to launch some miscellaneous Sankey diagram findings without much commenting…

Notes: Boiler Efficiency Sankey Diagram. Uncommon arrow head colouring. Percentage breakdown. Source: Energy Efficiency Analysis and Practices Blog. This Sankey is apparently produced by a software on boiler efficiency (BIOEFF v1.07), further analysis needed.