A variable-temperature heat reservoir irreversible intercooling regenerated Brayton combined heat and power (CHP) plant model is set up in this paper. The model considers the heat transfer losses in all the heat exchangers, the working substance pressure drop loss in the piping, and the expansion and compression losses in turbine and compressor. Exergy output rate and exergy efficiency are considered as the research targets, and their analytical formulae are obtained. The optimal performances are gotten by optimizing the intercooled pressure ratio and total pressure ratio. The influences of some important parameters on the performances are studied in detail. Besides, the relation of exergy output rate versus exergy efficiency is investigated, and the curve is loop-shaped one. The results indicate that optimum heat capacity rate matching between the heat reservoir and working substance, and optimum heat consumer required temperature exist respectively, which generate double-maximal exergy output rate and double-maximal exergy efficiency, respectively. The heat conductance allocation optimization of all the heat exchangers will be carried out in Part 2 of this paper.

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