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The Maersk Triple E class is a planned family of large, fuel-efficient containerships, following on from Maersk's E-class. They are being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding, and are expected to be the world's largest ships when they enter service; they will also be the most efficient, per twenty-foot equivalent unit or TEU. Unlike conventional single-engined containerships, the new class of ships is expected to be a twin-skeg design: It has twin diesel engines, each driving a separate propeller. Usually a single engine is more efficient, but using two propellers allows a better distribution of pressure, increasing propeller efficiency more than the disadvantage of using two engines. The engines have waste heat recovery systems, known as WHR; heat recovery is also used in 20 other Mærsk vessels including the eight E-class ships. The name "Triple E class" highlights three design principles: "Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved". The twin-skeg principle also means that the engines can be lower and further back, allowing more room for cargo. The hull is more 'boxy' with a U-shape compared to the V-shape of the E-class; this allows more containers to be stored at lower levels, so while the Triple-E is only 3m wider and 4m longer, it can carry 2,500 more containers, an increase of 16%. Carbon dioxide emissions, per container, are expected to be 50% lower than emissions by typical ships on the Asia-Europe route and 20% lower than Emma Maersk. These will be the most efficient containerships in the world, per TEU. Maersk requires ultra-long stroke 2-stroke engines resulting in lower RPM, but this requires more propeller area for the same effect, and such a combination is only possible with two propellers due to the low water depth of the desired route. A slower speed of 19 knots is targeted as the optimum, compared to the 23 knots of similar ships. This means that journeys between Asia and Europe take two days longer. Further fuel savings could be achieved at even lower speeds; consumption at 17.5 knots would be half that at 25 knots. The various environmental features are expected to cost $30 million per ship, of which the WHR is to cost $10 million. When the class was ordered, no port in the Americas could handle ships of their size. Suitable ports include Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian and Hong Kong in Asia, and Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Felixstowe in Europe. The ships will be too big for the New Panamax sized locks on the Panama canal, and their main route is expected to be Asia-Europe (through the Suez Canal). The draft of the Triple-E is 14.5m, less than the SuezMax requirement of 52.6 ft (16.0 m) at 59m beam. Handling equipment at ports was the main constraint on size, rather than the dimensions of canals or straits. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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