This book of the NATO Science Series presents the state-of-the-art of Desalination Technologies driven by Renewable Energies, highlighting the results achieved in the research field and presenting the potentialities of such technologies. It provides an up-to-date point-of-reference on the topic, giving an extensive overview of the current status of solar desalination, both from the research and industrial point of view.
Renewable energy sources such as solar energy were advocated even before the energy crisis in 1973. Subsequent development in solar energy has been remarkable. Indeed it has been one of the most studied and researched topics in recent years. Much of the technology in the utilization of solar energy has been associated with housing and industrial applications, and, to a smaller extent, with commercial use. The nature of the utilization has been related to the philosophy of independence or autonomy in that each housing or industrial unit is made self-sufficient by the installation of solar energy equipment. The general aim of the development of solar energy has been to substitute existing energy sources by solar energy especially among the developed countries in the temperate regions. In developing countries, the application of solar technology has been more acceptable in rural areas where conventional infrastructure is under- developed. A different direction is necessary for the development of solar energy in urban areas. Buildings are inter-related, and have been dependent on the conventional infrastructure. The consumption of energy is many times more than that in the rural areas. A new approach to urban development must be generated, and studies should be made on the feasibility and viability of using solar energy for urban settlements.
Over the last decade we entered a new exploration phase of solar flare physics, equipped with powerful spacecraft such as Yohkoh, SoHO, and TRACE that pro- vide us detail-rich and high-resolution images of solar flares in soft X-rays, hard X -rays, and extreme-ultraviolet wavelengths. Moreover, the large-area and high- sensitivity detectors on the Compton GRO spacecraft recorded an unprecedented number of high-energy photons from solar flares that surpasses all detected high- energy sources taken together from the rest of the universe, for which CGRO was mainly designed to explore. However, morphological descriptions of these beau- tiful pictures and statistical catalogs of these huge archives of solar data would not convey us much understanding of the underlying physics, if we would not set out to quantify physical parameters from these data and would not subject these measurements to theoretical models. Historically, there has always been an unsatisfactory gap between traditional astronomy that dutifully describes the mor- phology of observations, and the newer approach of astrophysics, which starts with physical concepts from first principles and analyzes astronomical data with the goal to confirm or disprove theoretical models. In this review we attempt to bridge this yawning gap and aim to present the recent developments in solar flare high-energy physics from a physical point of view, structuring the observations and analysis results according to physical processes, such as particle acceleration, propagation, energy loss, kinematics, and radiation signatures.