Energetics has developed an innovative, interactive online tool for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) that can help both technical and nontechnical users easily view and understand the flow of energy supply, demand, and losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Understanding where and how energy is used and lost in manufacturing is essential in helping industry—a heavy energy consumer—improve its efficiency. The new Dynamic Manufacturing Energy Flows Tool makes technical data about energy use and loss accessible and understandable to a wide audience, in a user-friendly way.
This project builds on a series of comprehensive energy analyses that Energetics has developed for AMO over the past decade. Using published Energy Information Administration data, Energetics created a manufacturing energy and carbon footprint model and used that model to develop and publish Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Footprints and Static Sankey Diagrams for the 15 most energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, plus U.S. manufacturing as a whole.
AMO sought Energetics’ help to gain wider use of the data contained in the Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Footprints. After careful assessment and testing, the team selected Sankey diagraming as the best method to clearly and accurately visualize the footprints’ data. Energetics then applied modern, interactive data-driven programming techniques to create the new Dynamic Manufacturing Energy Flows Tool, which brings these analyses and data together in a single, accessible interface.
The Tool’s easy-to-follow, interactive Sankey diagrams help users view and understand information on energy use at varying levels of detail. Weighted lines in the diagrams trace the flow of energy in the U.S. manufacturing sector, with thicker lines indicating larger amounts of energy and thinner lines indicating smaller amounts. Line colors indicate energy type—fuel, steam, electricity, and/or applied or lost energy. Users can manipulate the data by panning and zooming with the mouse, and customize the display by clicking buttons, enabling them to explore the flow of energy use across the manufacturing sector as a whole or within a particular subsector, or to compare energy consumption across subsectors. The energy flow images that the tool generates can be saved and exported to static image files.