Max Water to Quench the Global Thirst?

The Max Whisson Water Windmill
Max Whisson is an Australian inventor with a remarkable concept, he calls it the Max Water.He has invented a wind-powered system that extracts water from the air.How much water can it extract? Max thinks that 10,000 liters per day is possible from a small rooftop unit. The windmill generates energy needed to power a condensing system. Lowering the temperature of the air below the dew point releases the water trapped inside.

There is no shortage of skeptics claiming everything from faulty physics to outright con.For this writer’s opinion, a seventy-year-old man medical doctor who invented a retractable syringe to help prevent accidental needle sticks is not a likely conman.As for the physics claims, most of the claims are based on the amount of air in a particular space. They overlook the fact that the air flowing through the windmill is constantly moving. Therefore, one would not need to extract all of the moisture from the air in the space. It is an interesting concept, for parched areas of the world, or places where the natural water supply has become too polluted, this would have some incredible applications. Let’s hope we can see some government funding for this type of thing.

Price, if the thing works: $43,000 ($50,000 if you come from Australia) for the household version.


About the author: C. S. Magor


C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and reporter at large for Uberreview and We Interrupt. He currently resides in a sleepy basin town in the Japanese countryside - where both his bank balance and the lack of space in his home are testament to his addiction to all things shiny.

Follow @csmagor on Twitter



Recent posts in Concept

  • http://n/a Justin

    This was featured recently on an Australian program called The New Inventor. I can assure you this guy is LEGIT. Although quite expensive, this is the perfect way for anyone to generate drinking and toilet water. It will even work in arctic temperatures and he assures us even in the desert (although 10,000 litres per day would not apply). BELIEVE THE HYPE.

  • tony

    I cannot believe this untested idea is getting so much publicity. None of his other “amazing inventions” have ever made a profit, I very much doubt this one will either.

  • d. q.

    The price is out of wack

    Conceptually, it’s just a fridge with a propeller instead of an electric motor connected to the compressor. If the guy is serious about helping Africa with the thing, he will figure out how to retrofit discarded fridges.

    The only hurdle is humidity of air – it can be quite low in the desert, and especially low during droughts, when this device would be most needed. I would think relative humidity peaks at night and then water could be collected, however it’s not clear what elevation above ground is optimal, what if it were, say, 1km? Is he going to develop a condensation kite?

    I would not believe 10000 litres a day though, their proposed monster has 1.5 metre tall inlet (from drawing), average wind speed 10km/h, temperature difference 40C to 10C, 100% humidity would theoretically allow you to get 20000 litres a day, however any location with these conditions will get quite a bit of rain anyway.

    I’m sure they have made their calculations, but the figure seems like the best case estimate.

  • C. S. Magor

    I completely agree Justin. Most of the skeptics are using faulty physics. It would be great to get a real physicist on here to give their thoughts.

  • C. S. Magor

    I am not sure what you mean by untested. It is being tested and attracting a fair bit of publicity. It is one of those ideas that is just about crazy enough to work. There is only so much you can while you raise funds for a prototype, no?

    I am agreed about the price. It certainly seems a little much, but the cost of development if you are working in Australia is rather high. Propeller equipment is not cheap either. I understand the concept, I think the wind speed is key.

  • geo

    If you read the patent you will find that it is a simple and viable idea.
    Simply put he designed a fan blad with freon tubes ON THE BLADES. The blades are turned by the wind and that motion compresses the freon which travels over the baldes as it uncompresses thus colling the blades and the air going through them.
    Because the wind directly powers the refrigeration of the air it is much better than a windmill powering a seaprate cooling system.
    Furthermore even the driest desert air has lots of water in it. When it is cooled enough it drops that water out even if it is only 3 percent humidity!

    You could make one yourself for your house and save some money. for more environmental ideas

  • tony

    C.S. Magor
    I completely disagree. There is a hell of a lot of things that you can do to test and prove technology prior to raising capital. Computer analysis, review by experts, scale prototype etc, all which are relatively inexpensive to do, and all much more reliable than the ramblings of a man who is neither a physicist nor engineer.

    This guy has a history of coming up with what seem to be fantastic yet plausible ideas on paper, then selling them to developers who do not do their homework properly. If these ideas are so great he would develop them himself, rather than be willing to sell them off as he has done in the past. I would just like to warn people to perform proper due diligence prior to investing.

  • C. S. Magor

    Not to criticize, but can you please give some evidence to back up your claims. If you are saying that he has a history of selling half-baked ideas, in effect swindling developers out of funds, then you should give a couple of examples.

    As for testing, from what I can gather this thing is being tested. The aerodynamics of the propeller system were being tested the last I heard.

    I am on the fence as to whether this thing will work, but it is definitely something that needs to be looked into. If you come from a country where water is as scarce as Australia then alternatives to desalinization are very interesting indeed.

  • esecallum

    excuse me.

    with so many discarded fridges out there it’s not very difficult to replicate it…

    so lets do that instead of pointless argueing…

    mass produceing it or using plastic piping etc it could be made smaller, cheaper ,lighter…

    argeing on the internet is like the special olympics..even if you win…

  • esecallum

    i quote:-
    A beetle native to the Namib desert that uses a mosaic of hydrophilic and hydrophobic microstructures to harvest water from fog.
    Stenocara beetles, living in the harsh clime of the Namib desert in Namibia, use a unique adaptation on their exoskeletons to harvest water from occasional fog.

    These beetles use rounded nodules, just 10 microns in size and arranged in a close-packed hexagonal pattern, embedded in a bumpy matrix. The nodules are coated in wax, while the larger surrounding bumps are wax-free. The wax-coated nodules exhibit strong water-repellent properties, like Teflon, while the relatively smooth, wax-free surfaces created by the larger surrounding bumps actually attract water. The combination of both surface types enables the beetle to drink in the Namib.

    The Stenocara beetle, equipped with its hydrophilic-hydrophobic surface matrix, has evolved a droplet-growing system. As it tilts its body into the fog-laden wind, minute water droplets are repelled……

  • Pingback: ambiente » Blog Archive » La turbina che ricava acqua dall’aria()

  • C. S. Magor

    It looks like that got reviewed in Italian?

  • klang

    Why are people so ready to make a quick buck on something that is not really rocket science? These devices should cost 50$, be on sale at every corner drug store and produce around 100 liters a day in the best conditions.

  • C. S. Magor

    I am sure that you can agree that you need to factor in research and development costs when pricing any item. If you didn’t, Windows Vista would be worth a fraction of a cent for the plastic that it takes to produce the CD.

    If they are able to produce the water levels that they are claiming, then $10,000-15,000 would be a fair price. Perhaps, $20,000 if they require only very limited maintenance. Such a system would be able to virtually eliminate a water bill and free people up from the tight water restrictions that are enforced throughout much of the year in some cities.

  • klang

    Even if the analogy is good, you probably didn’t intend to compare Windows Vista with the white gunk in the back of your fridge. There is your development costs right there; realizing that humidity condenses water out of thin air where warmth and cold meet.

    Anyway, notice that I am suggesting a totally different device: a cheap one, that would be present on every rooftop, that would also eliminate any need for distribution of massive amounts of water.

    I seriously believe that I could retrofit an old fridge with a small wind turbine (or a cheap solar panel) and get the desired end result. Seeing it as I would be only making one device, it would probably run me a couple of hundred dollars .. mass production would only reduce price.

  • beckybecky

    well has anyone made a replica of this yet?

    if no why not??

    you dont have a shortage of parts with a million fridges in the land fills…

    in fact driving about you can see discarded fridges outside houses ready for the taking….

    i am american and it seems the burden will fall on us americans again to move this technology forward….

    i just dont understand why you folk cant do any work to better yourself and we have to sort all the problems for you folk…

    in 300 yers we americans carved an empty continent into a super power by sheer hard work.

  • C. S. Magor

    Your idea has merit, why not try fitting out an old fridge without the wind turbine first and see if you can produce 100 Liters using the mains. That would let you know whether it is worth pursuing further.

    It would be especially good if you could do it with something the size of a bar fridge, with a telescoping wind turbine.

    That would be portable enough for the hardcore 4WD crowd in Australia and the middle East.

    Get me some pictures of a semi-working model and I will give you a story.

  • C. S. Magor

    Us Americans, You folk… that is a rather arrogant comment, but for now I will let it stand as it is not too offensive just yet. The Internet is a global community, please leave the jingoism at the door.

    America has a lot to admire as a country, but no country is perfect and as long as we agree on that fact, perhaps we can get along.

    First of all, America was not empty there were people who lived there first who were systematically deprived of their land.

    Becoming a superpower, if that is an achievement that you admire then you are in good company, China, Iran (then Persia), Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, England and other countries could all have made similar claims in their time. But I digress and I apologize for Fisking your argument, but you left me no choice.

    Pushing technology forward is never a burden. To the victor go the spoils.

    The Max Water system is actually an Australian concept and that fellow who has been promoting the refrigerator concept is from a Scandinavian country. Plenty of good ideas come from the United States, but the United States does not have a monopoly on good ideas.

  • My Torment

    the idea of condensation isnt pattend, the idea of using wind to power the transfer is. The old frige idea isnt a bad one though, as suggested if a working prototype was made running on mains power, then maybe the mains power could be substituted for anouther great south AUSTRALIAN inovation the “sun cube”

    Or maybe a machine that utilized both wind and solar/thermal energy could be made for a “works anyware” as to insure water production is constant.

    and when it comes to the “United” states please…….. dont go there……..hard work….pftt! Its the poor countries that do the work while the rest prosper, Capitalism at its greatest.

  • ese callum

    its a fact that americans are the most advanced race.

    we landed on the moon.

    no other race has landed on the moon.

    america was created in just 300 years by hard work.

    we transformed an empty wasteland into a superpower by hard work.

    we are the best inventors.

    we invented electricity and newclear powar.

    we have the most advanced science.

    3 weeks ago we teleported atoms thru fibre optic cables.

    we have discovered anti-casimir effect last week.

    this could mean anti-gravity and levitation of non magnetic objects.

    at the rate america is advancing we will become gods in a thousand years.

    we are advancing exponentially.

    thats is why we will attain godhood and immortality in a thousand years.

    mark my words.

    we will move stars and planets.

    we will be able to create and destroy universes and life.

    and we will be the superior beings.

    remember that when you are in your bed tonight and staring at the dark ceiling.

  • C. S. Magor

    Einstein was from Germany, Hawking is from England, Javan is from Iran, the Curies were from Poland and France. Great scientists come from all over the world and go to where the money is. When the money moves on, so will they. American is a nationality not a race.

    “Newclear” power was not invented. Nuclear fission was first achieved by an Italian American scientist (born in Italy), Fermi. Fermi was not, however, did not understand the results of the reaction.

    Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, Fritz Strassmann, and Otto Robert Frisch (German Physicists) determined that the fission reaction was caused by the splitting of Uranium atoms.

    Szilard, a Hungarian American (born in Hungary) realized the potential for a chain reaction. Oppenheimer was an American, though his family emigrated to the United States from Germany. Oliphant who was crucial to the enrichment of uranium, came from Australia.

    As you can see, the science came from countries all over the world, not just the United States. When you look at recent discoveries, you find that much the same is true.

    Brilliant minds are not unique to one country, neither are ignorant ones. Do your research and learn to spell.

  • klang

    Sliced bread. Sliced bread was invented in America.

    (Just trying to give you one, ese callum, because certainly, when you use the word “we” you are a bit wrong)

  • embarrassed

    Wow ese callum, you certainly excel at making americans look like pompous idiots. Please put the keyboard down and actually contribute to the world instead providing an example of the fools others hard work has created a haven for.

  • ElfN

    Actually, the Israelis have the most inventions and smartest people in the world per capita. If Israel didn’t have to deal with the racial/political/religious/socio-economic mess in their region of the world, they’d make the US look like pikers when it comes to smarts.


  • student

    i’m a young student and i choose to do my speech on this specific invention i would like to see how it would result in the future. I think it’s actually pretty neat.


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