This first part of a twofold article is devoted to the presentation of a model of the Themis central receiver solar plant. The Themis experiment showed that the energy balance is deteriorated by internal (parasitic) energy consumption during outages and that the operating procedures were not optimized. Our model takes into account all blocks of the main transfer chain that are involved in the global energy balance. Thanks to a set of control variables, we can simulate various operating procedures. This paper describes the state equations and details the case of the solar receiver.

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