In 1973 Electro Industries had one product, a gas-fired air make-up heater for confinement buildings with one customer, Aerovent Fan and Equipment of Lansing, Michigan. Bill Seefeldt used his engineering experience to bring that product to maturity and then decided that diversification needed to be the next priority. From prior contacts with the rural electric utilities he began developing a comprehensive line of products for load management applications.
In 1976 we began working with Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks, North Dakota as they introduced their new load management system and dual heat rates. We originally anticipated this application would be handled with storage heat and began developing a central ETS storage furnace. This design activity was patterned after Saskatchewan Power Corporation and Otter Tail Power Corporation prototype furnaces. However, later the Minnkota people felt their load control heating application would be much better handled with a simple dual electric and fossil fuel furnace system. On January 8th, 1978 Bill delivered the first small trailer load of Electroil dual forced air furnaces.
From this came the Electro-Mate® plenum heater (now the only electric plenum heater manufactured in the USA) and the Electro-Boiler™, a dual heat conversion electric boiler.
In the 1980's we developed our theme of being "the connect to people". We consider radio receivers, line carrier receivers and/or TOU meters as the load management communication device, but in order for the power company to further implement their load management program, these devices need to "connect to" the hardware which actually does the work.
As our experience grew in the Upper Midwest we developed a full line of load interrupt relay and submetering controls called Peak Interrupters.
In 1991 we introduced a microprocessor product family under the Electro-Tech name. This includes programmable seasonal time clocks, electronic sub-metering, remote metering, commercial demand controllers, wireless control transceivers, etc. In 1995 this was extended to a smart heat pump controller called WarmFlo®.
Throughout the history of load management applications, the proper interrupt backup heat and comfort of heat pumps were always an issue. Through the years various relay based interfaced controls were developed primarily to add installation ease and standardization for load management control. As a result we became a third party knowledge base and interface control supplier for many power company customer service departments and dealers/contractors. Realizing the need to increase air source heat pump comfort and more effectively integrate our Electro-Mate plenum heater with the classical dual fuel heat pump, the WarmFlo smart heat pump controller as a new product opened up a new future for the original Electro-Mate and for electric utilities interested in selling more power. WarmFlo is the most versatile and universal heat pump controller available and is configured for any heat pump make, age, type or HP/gas furnace configuration. It is truly a third party added value controller.
In 1999 we developed a standby generator transfer switch which is receiving a lot of interest across the nation. The primary benefit Electro-GenConnect has over traditional techniques is that it is installed behind the meter socket and no building re-wiring is required. One patent has been approved and another is pending.
Bill's wife, Merrlyn, has been involved with the corporation from the beginning. At first she was the only office staff and as we grew she gradually relinquished responsibilities to others until today she serves as Support Services to the various departments including traveling with Bill to visit our customers across the nation.
Through the years all four of our children have been involved with Electro Industries. At present our daughter, Krista, and her husband, Jon Smith, are serving as our Accountant and General Manager respectively. Our son, John,
is our IT Manager. The other two children have gone on to become a youth evangelist (Brenda) in the Washington D.C. area and our son Mark is completing his PhD in meteorology.
From its inception Electro Industries has always had a strong desire to internally control all aspects of product control. We are unique in that we not only internally design our products, but we also fabricate our own sheet metal parts, with a welding department, circuit board assembly, and testing.
In 2002 Bill began searching for a refrigeration cycle or heat pump that would be more efficient in the upper Midwest. This led to a research contract with Purdue University. They concluded their work in September 2005 and the final refinement was turned over to Electro Industries. This birthed a new heat pump system that has been called NorAire™, which can pull out energy from -30° for three integrated outputs - hydronic, forced air, and domestic hot water.
As a company, we are continually seeking ways to improve upon and create new products to help our customers better manage their comfort and energy needs.