The Modular Backyard Power Plant

Our new book The Modular Backyard Power Plant has launched. It is a combined book and video geared specifically for people on the grid worried about losing power for days, weeks or longer term. This system will bridge the gap between grid power down and grid power being restored. Think of it as a solar electric generator replacing the gas generator.

In fact, you can watch the video where I’m tossing a gas generator in the dumpster.

Earlier this summer, we had a film crew here for almost a week filming lots of marketing scripts. Along with the marketing scripts, I was filmed building the system from scratch. That was an intense morning to late at night stretch. 

Our book gives easy to follow instructions so anybody can build the Modular Backyard Power Plant. The videos that come with the book give the viewer a look over my shoulder as we build this project together. Because it is modular by design, it is easily expandable depending on one’s power needs.

Not only does one get the technical information on how to build the system themselves, I also teach basic electricity and explain in easy terms why I chose the components I did. We also discuss solar design theory and the reasoning behind a good solar electric system.

Even if one does not wish to build the system, my book will be an invaluable reference resource for those interested in off grid energy production.The last chapter alone provides many ideas and methods for dealing with daily life during a disaster scenario. Old time solutions to modern problems.

What a relief to see all the effort we’ve made over the last couple years finally come to fruition. 

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10 Responses to The Modular Backyard Power Plant

  1. dorothy benoit says:

    Hi how can i buy your books from canada .

  2. Jim Laufenberg says:

    I purchased your book and upon scanning I noticed you mention several times about a video. Also you have more books? How do I get the video.
    Jim Laufenberg

    • Ron & Johanna Melchiore says:

      Hello Jim. Thank you very much for your support. I am assuming you are referencing to the Modular Backyard Power plant and if so, yes indeed, there is a video that goes with that book. I can’t say for sure how our publisher is doing this but I strongly suspect our publisher has sent a confirmation email with a download link for the video. Could you please first check your spam folder and see if you have an email with link? If it is not there, you can got to this link for our second book, the Self Sufficient Backyard: For the Independent Homesteader. (

      There you can either send a facebook message or send an email to support. Please let me know how you make out. And my first book is Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness. You can find that book on this website under “Buy Book” tab. Stay safe Jim!

  3. Kelly says:

    Can you add more than Three modules?

    • Ron & Johanna Melchiore says:

      Hi Kelly. I appreciate your interest in my power plant. Why would you want to add more than 3 modules? Then we can better understand what you really want to do.

  4. John D Henry says:

    Not speaking for Kelly, however, Ron, I would like to have 2000w of solar panels and enough battery backup to supply my home. This is possibly what others want as well, say, to power your heat pump or AC in the summer and your electric heat in the winter.


    • Ron & Johanna Melchiore says:

      Hello John. Thanks for stopping by. Let’s compare a 1000 watt gas generator to a 7500 watt gas generator for a minute. If you try to run a house on a 1000 watt generator, it won’t do it. It wasn’t designed for that purpose. It will run 1000 continuous watts and that’s it. That same analogy applies to the modular backyard power plant.

      There are a lot of people out there that are tied to the grid but worried about power failures or rolling blackouts. The modular backyard power plant was only designed to run the priority items bridging the gap until power is restored. The most power the modular backyard power plant is designed to handle is 800 watts of solar input. That will run a lot of stuff in a house.

      That’s why I asked Kelly what he was hoping to do. If I was designing a system for an off grid home, I would use completely different components to build the system. I tried to design the modular backyard power plant as simple as possible for people to wire up, cost effective with quality components. An off grid set up would be the same concept but bigger components with a bit more complexity like being able to recharge batteries with a generator through the inverter.
      We’ve been doing this for about 44 years now and one thing that I need to mention is forget about the electric heat or hot water tank for that matter. They take massive amounts of power, are probably 220VAC and would require a big solar array which would be overkill in the summer. I have no experience with heat pumps and one would need to check the specs but that heat pump might be a chore to run as well on solar.

      This stuff is all thoroughly explained in the book with a complete design example. Explanations are given for why I chose each component and how each component works in a system. The book would be an invaluable guide for anybody interested in solar power. Best of luck.

  5. Paul McCarron says:

    Looking to buy your book and get it delivered to Italy but it says you don’t ship to Italy. Options?

    • Ron & Johanna Melchiore says:

      Hello Paul, I appreciate your interest in my book/video. Unfortunately between shipping costs, exchange rates and taxes, it’s just cost prohibitive to try to have a print version available world wide. You should still be able to get the ebook version along with the video. Thank you and stay safe over there.

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