Thermoelectric coolers (TECs) are solid-state devices with no moving parts, and therefore are inherently very reliable. The inherent reliability of the cooler, however, is determined by the electrical arrangement of the p- and n- type thermoelements (elements). Typically, TECs are manufactured with the elements in series electrically, resulting in the highest voltage and lowest current requirements for a given number of elements, but also the lowest possible inherent reliability. For maximum TEC reliability, all of the elements should be connected electrically in parallel, but this results in the need for an expensive high current power supply. By using a redundant element design, the inherent reliability of the TEC can be dramatically improved with very minimal impact on TEC cost and performance, and more acceptable increases in current requirements. A brief description of the exponential reliability model is presented followed by an analysis of various electrical arrangements of the TEC elements in order to optimize the TEC design as it relates to 1) reliability, 2) electrical requirements, and 3) impact on system design and cost. Comparisons are made between the configurations and the results are tabulated and graphed.