Coffee Capsules Power Clocks And Radios

Coffee Capsules Power Clocks And Radios

How one of the world's favorite beverages was upcycled to run gadgets.

Naresh Kumar
  • 18 october 2010

At the Vienna Design Week 2010, Austrian design studio Mischer’Traxler created an installation for the Nespresso Boutique that used over 700 used coffee capsules upcycled into batteries to power clocks and a small radio. The Nespresso Battery was made using the aluminum found in the capsules along with copper strips, coffee grounds and salt water. The design won the SUSTAIN.ABILITY.DESIGN competition at the design week.

Here’s more about the battery from the creators, Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler:

The installation ‘Nespresso-Battery’ demonstrates the energy in Nespresso Capsules. Invisible Energy becomes visual via ticking sweep hands and thus shows the importance of collecting and recycling the valuable material aluminium. The energy for the movement of the sweep hands is powered by 17 simple, self made batteries.

…In this mixture between a soil battery and a salt water battery the aluminium functions as the anode, the copper as cathode and the salt water as electrolyte. Due to a chemical reactions a small, but usable, amount of energy is created. Each battery produces about 1,5 – 1,7 Volts of potential and enough power to run a electro – mechanical Quartz clockwork.


Dezeen: “Nespresso Battery by Mischer’Traxler”


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