A novel thermoelectric OTEC concept is proposed and compared with the ammonia closed-cycle designs. The thermoelectric OTEC uses no working fluid and therefore requires no pressure vessel, working fluid pumps, or turbogenerator. These components are replaced by power modules which are heat exchangers integrated with thermoelectric generators. The thermoelectric OTEC concept offers several potential advantages including: higher reliability system performance through the use of a high level of redundancy and long-lived, solid-state thermoelectric generators with no moving parts, greater safety for crew and environment by elimination of the pressurized working fluid, and the possibility of comparable system costs, i.e., costs near $2000/kWe (net) in 1980 dollars.

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