The dual-fuel heat pump control.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Bill Porter has a simple philosophy, borrowed from Albert Einstein. "Make things as simple as possible but no simpler."

The 40-year HVAC veteran uses that philosophy in his dealings with the installation and service of dual-fuel heat pump systems, combining an outdoor heat pump and indoor furnace, which he describes as "not always having a good reputation."

"Homeowners often do not like the cooler air or cold air during the defrost cycle," Porter said. "Installers and service technicians do not like all those wires, and manufacturers make things confusing, hard to understand, and enclose volumes of instructions.

"Each manufacturer has their own methods, techniques, wiring diagrams, and wire designations."

He added that although wiring diagrams are not new to him, integrated circuitry and printed circuitry art is something that needs to be understood.

Porter noted that service techs said, "There has to be a better way," and many other contractors faced the same dilemma as him. "I was encouraged by other contractors to build a better mousetrap and they would buy it," he added.

Porter invented a printed circuit board with proper identification for each wire - the Dual Fuel Control Center. The circuit board activates the heat function and locks out the outdoor unit during furnace operation. Indoor and outdoor units cannot operate at the same time. An outdoor thermostat that he developed turns off the outdoor unit when it falls below a setpoint, thus making the indoor furnace the primary heat source.

The outdoor thermostat was designed specifically for use with heat pumps but can be used in other applications.

"The controls are universal, eliminating the need for all diagrams used by other manufacturers," Porter said. "This is one control and one diagram for all heat pumps.

"On any dual-fuel system with these controls the homeowner never experiences cold air and is always comfortable."

Porter said that he sells his products across the U.S. and Canada, including to manufacturers like Carrier, Ducane, and Amana. A large southern utility also expressed interest.

"The utility company got word of my product and invited me to make a presentation at an open house in Atlanta," he said. "The dealers present were opposed to the heat pump and now they recognize it as a good thing."

Porter added that people from all over the country ask his advice on service problems and he is always available to "lend a hand."

He can be reached by calling BP Porter Inc. at 405-771-3323, or fax 405-771-2292.

Publication date: 04/05/2004