Comparing all the categories described here, in the utility demand of an industry, like a refinery, it is easy to conclude that utilities are basically the currency for energy exchange. And considering the idea suggested in Chapter 9, about a refinery being a complicated thermal machine, utilities are the fluids that perform the energy cycle that keep it running.
This might be considered an exaggeration, but concerning how basic design is done, in essence, this much is true. Energy in all forms: fuels, steam, electricity, water are to be the blood and body fluids, and utility equipment: boilers, cooling towers, power generators etc, are the organs of this being, the plant. They might not be the main purpose of existence, but without their support, there is no life.
And the better this exchange is performed, the longer the life span is to be expected, the more useful the equipment will be and the fewer disruptions will happen. The overall venture is likely to be less costly and more profitable. Understanding and accepting this role can influence all costs surrounding an industrial plant very positively, from financial to environmental.
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