MEng Chemical Engineering with Energy and Environment

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Utility System Design

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEN40431
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Increases, and major fluctuations, in the costs of fuels and power, and new restrictions on fuel related emissions (both legislative and financial), have provided additional incentives to examine the provision of heat and power for industrial processes. New and advanced practical tools are now available for targeting, design and operation of utility systems (including cogeneration). This course examines the design and operation of fuel consumers (such as furnaces, boilers and gas turbines) and power generators (such as steam turbines and gas turbines) in the context of the provision of heat and power to a variety of end users. Models and tools are developed for individual components of the utility system that can be easily applied in the design and operation of industrial utility systems in order to minimise operational costs and, where appropriate, to maximise the effectiveness of capital expenditure. In addition, methods and tools are available to examine and optimise these systems in the context of the overall and changing requirements of process users and generators, thereby maximising effectiveness, flexibility and profitability of total sites. Targeting tools, as a basis for utility system design in the supply of heat and power, are also examined and evaluated.


Fuels, Combustion, and Emissions

Boiler Feedwater Treatment


Basic Steam Calculations

Basic Gas Turbine Calculations

Steam Turbines

Gas Turbines

Gas Turbine Heat Recovery

Steam Use and Distribution

Steam Balances and Energy Audits

Optimising Utility Systems

Utility System / Process Interface

Steam Pricing

Total Site Composite Curves

Cogeneration Targets for Steam Turbine Systems

Optimising Steam Levels



The unit aims to:

Examine and evaluate the design and operation of industrial utility systems, and their individual components, and introduce analysis and optimisation techniques for utility systems, including cogeneration, in the context of integration with on-site processes.

The course will focus on the design, operation, and limitations of individual components of the site utility system, design of the most appropriate utility system for the supply of required heat and power (accounting for cogeneration), targeting for energy use and cogeneration potential, the integration of site processes and the utility system, and the minimisation of site energy costs. Environmental impacts and sustainability are considered in all design and operation decisions.

Learning outcomes

1.Assess the overall variability in the design and operation of  utility systems

2.Develop and evaluate models of the principal components of utility systems and their practicality for design synthesis 

3.Appraise the suitability of variations in component mixture in meeting the heat and power demands of chemical processes supported by utility systems, considering their environmental impact and sustainability

4.Evaluate existing designs of utility systems  with respect to energy use, cogeneration, heat and power demands, and emissions

5.Examine the implications of interactions between components in the utility systems in minimising operating and capital costs

6.Assess the implications of changing chemical process demands on the design and operation of utility systems

7.Evaluate targeting methodologies for the synthesis of utility systems

8.Use software to produce utility system design variations to meet specified requirements 

Teaching and learning methods

The unit makes use of traditional face-to-face lectures, problem solving sessions, and the use of software in solving larger scale problems during timetabled practical sessions. All materials are available via Blackboard, including podcasts of lectures, which can assist in the learning process. Communications outside of timetabled teaching slots also make use of the Blackboard system via Discussion Boards.

Practical work and related coursework has been designed in order to demonstrate subject knowledge and competency in methodology, evaluation and interpretation of results, and communication/presentation skills. You will be required to make use of engineering calculations, the use of software, and general problem solving skills. Coursework is required to be submitted via Blackboard and in the form of a hardcopy.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%

Feedback methods

Exam: Via examination scripts

Coursework: Via returned papers and within 15 working days

Recommended reading

  1. Smith R, Chemical Process Design and Integration, 2016, Wiley
  2. Kemp I C, Pinch Analysis and Process Integration, Second Edition: A User Guide on Process Integration for the Efficient Use of Energy , 2007, Butterworth-Heinemann


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simon Perry Unit coordinator

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