Month: August 2012

Green Building Heat Demand Flows

Architect Ziya Buluch has a comprehensive description of his project ‘The Nest’ on his blog. The Nest is a green building which is planned to have no external primary head demand.

Scroll down to the end to find this Sankey diagram:

The flows represent the heat energy. Overall demand for heat 37.46 kWh per square meter per year. 12.08 kWh/m2a is from solar panels, 25.38 kWh/m2a from an air-source heat pump (whaterver that is…).

Untypical Sankey diagram, but nevertheless interesting. Flows are not really to scale (compare the 12 kWh inflow and the 6 kWh losses outflow, which should have half the width, or to the 25 kWh inflow that should be roughly twice as wide). Unicolor grey flows with a slight gradient from left to right.

Wind to Gas Sankey Diagram

Didn’t know what wind gas was until I saw this presentation on “Towards 100% renewables and beyond power: The possibility of wind to generate renewable fuels and materials” by Michael Sterner of Fraunhofer IWES institute. Page 16 has this diagram:

The process described is actually a way of storing energy. Electricity from wind power is used to produced hydrogen and converted to methane. As such it can be stored (e.g. in gas pipelines) and is available to generate electric energy during peak hours. Efficiency is only 36%, but alternatively wind turbines would have to be cut-off if they can’t feed their power into the grid. Other storage alternatives (such as pumped storage power) are capacity limited.

An overall interesting presentation, access the PDF here.

Alaska Energy Flows

Dug out a folder on the hard disk of my old computer where I had stored many Sankey diagrams. Great stuff there I had saved years ago. Problem is that at the time I didn’t label the diagrams properly, so that I am now trying to trace where I got them from.

Here is one I like quite a bit. It is featured on p. 24 of the Alsaka Energy Plan (available on the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) website / directly access large PDF)

Alaska Energy Flows for 2006 in trillion BTU. Forget about the other fuels, this state’s energy is almost entirely based on crude. And – despite being an importer of oil – AK is primarily an exporter of oil. All other energy flows really seem to be insignificant because of the dominance of oil. Losses are not shown with streams, but rather are given as text on the node.

Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing Processes

A brochure on efficient use of energy in manufacturing processes in industry was published in 2004 by Bavarian environment agency (LFU). With its catchy title ‘Protect Climate – Reduce Costs’ (German: ‘Klima schützen – Kosten senken’) the brochure targets at small and medium sized companies and aims to raise conciousness about energy efficiency in different areas of a manufacturing company such as pressurized air, air condition, heating/cooling, lighting and others.

On page 6 this Sankey diagram shows an overview of energy flows in the company…

… and on page 7 a detailed view of a process section (extruder, corrugator, spray bath)

The first diagram is in percent of the total energy consumption, directing the interest to the areas that contribute most to energy consumption, losses (and energy costs) in the company. In the second diagram the unit is kW.

Thanks to the blog reader who sent in the brochure and helped out in translating from German.

Solvents in Pharmaceutical Synthesis

This simple Sankey diagram is displayed on the Berlin state environmental protection agency (in German only). It shows a breakdown of the input materials and of the outputs of a pharmaceutical synthesis process, with a focus on solvents (“LM”).

Water is the largest chunk of the inputs, as well as on the output side (I understand that the water is polluted with solvents after the synthesis and need special treatment).

Flows are in kg, and mostly to scale. The Sankey arrows for the smaller quantities like the actual product yield (90 kg only) seem to have a minimum width or are emphasized ny a stromger border line in order to remain visible.

Misc Sankey Diagrams Uncommented 05

I had to stop posting for a few days because I had trouble with page hijacking. Set up WP anew with the help of a friend (thanks Chris!). To get going again after this break, here’s a misc Sankey diagram from my collection:

The upper part depicts a process diagram of a gas-powered steam boiler system. Below are the energy flows as a Sankey diagram. Values are in percent, showing the yield. Out of the input energy (100%) we have 31.5% of the energy in low presseure steam and 42% in electric energy. Don’t know where I picked this duiagram from, will have to check if I find the source of this.

Sankey for Building Performance Simulation

Found this via utsapocalypse. The Sankey diagram is originally from the article ‘Preliminary Investigation of the Use of Sankey Diagrams to Enhance Building Performance Simulation-Supported Design’ by William (Liam) O’Brien of Carleton University, Ottawa.

The paper proposes “the outline for a methodology for creating Sankey diagrams to represent energy flows in buildings, with the eventual intent that the methodology be integrated into a software tool.”

The Sankey diagram shows the energy balance of a house for a mid-winter week. Flows are in kWh, total amount 804 kWh. Energy sources/types are from the left (purchased heat, domestic hot water, solar gains), energy consumption and losses to the right (heat loss through windows, ceilings, walls).

Plenty of colors used in the diagram, Sankey arrows glued together from shapes. As the author mentions “the underlying creation process, when performed manually, can be quite complex”.