Whisson Windmills To Water Australia Like Vaporators?

Dr. Max Whisson thinks he has a way to bring water to Australia's parched land - windmills that pull water out of the air.

Water is a big problem for Australia. Queensland State's governor Peter Beattie has announced that falling dam levels have left him no choice but to introduce recycled water into the state's southeast. Australian farms and cities are suffering under the worst drought in a century.

Whisson's design consists of a number of blades arranged vertically, accepting wind from any direction. The process is a closely guarded secret, but the device manages to cool the air as it passes - pulling water out by condensation.

Frankly, I'm skeptical of a story that has so little substance to it. However, Whisson does have a history as an inventor; he suggested the idea of long evaporation channels in 2002. The basic idea is that seawater would be channeled inland under a transparent cover. As the water evaporated, it could be diverted to storage tanks. The channels would be U-shaped, letting the remaining water (and salt) flow back into the sea.

Update 01-Feb-2007: Here's a bit more from ABC Canberra, who quotes Whisson as saying:

"Well it's an idea that gradually evolved, I suppose over the last three-years or so. The windmill is part of the system, but essentially it's an arrangement whereby wind blows into a chamber and the wind has two things: it has energy and it has water in it and the system just condenses the water."
I also had a comment from Matt, who remarked on the Hilsch vortex tube method of refrigeration; as far as I know, it requires pressurized air to work, and I'm not sure if a ten mile per hour breeze could provide the necessary pressure. End

If Max Whisson really does have a windmill that pulls water right out of the air without additional electricity, he may just have invented the moisture vaporator. Widely used in the deserts of the fictional world of Tatooine, it makes farming work where it would ordinarily fail.

Despite the glare, life could and did exist in the flatlands formed by long-evaporated sea beds. One thing made it possible: the reintroduction of water.

For human purposes, however, the water of Tatooine was only marginally accessible. The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down out of the hard blue sky -- coaxed, forced, yanked down to the parched surface...
(Read more about Star Wars vaporators)

Since pictures of Max Whisson's windmill evaporator are not available, I'll provide a picture of the fictional vaporator. Let's hope Whisson's vaporator isn't just fiction.


(Moisture Vaporator from Star Wars)

Frank Herbert's Dune books also introduce water recovery technologies; some of them have real-world analogues:

Update 30-Jan-2007: This has to be a record for fastest time to update an article. Okay, I considered using the windtrap from Frank Herbert's Dune for this article. It does predate the Star Wars reference (Dune was published in 1965 [serialized in Analog starting in 1963]). However, the windtrap is apparently a static device very similar to simple technologies already common in the Middle East for centuries (see the references provided by readers, as well as a picture of an Iranian windtrap, in the comments on Herbert's windtraps). Maybe I'm wrong to reference the vaporator here. Chime in below if so moved. End update

Read almost nothing more at The Australian; here's the Australia Queensland recycled water story. This pdf gives you a bit more on Max Whisson's 2002 water recovery plan.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/30/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 8 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.' - George Lucas, 1976.

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...' - James P. Hogan, 1979

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?' - Niven and Pournelle, 1974.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

Capitalist Big Brother Co-Opts Regular Big Brother
'It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.'

A Floating Cosmodrome
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

First Artificial Memory Formed In Animals
'Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?' Quail asked.

Maintain Your Megastructure
Megastructures have repair robots, which have repair robots, ad infinitum.

Venezuelans Teaching Your Self-Driving Car
‘She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...’

Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.

Vantablack BMW X6 Is Douglas Adams Approved
'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect.

Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...'

Animatronic Robotic Baby Exposed
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.'

Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!'

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.