Nespresso Battery by Mischer’Traxler


Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

Vienna Design Week 2010: Vienna designers Mischer’Traxler made batteries from 700 used coffee capsules to power clocks installed in the window of Nespresso Austria during Vienna Design Week.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

Called Nespresso Battery, the installation uses aluminium in the capsules together with strips of copper, coffee grounds and salt water to make batteries.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

Six pots linked together power a clock, while the whole installation would run a small radio.

The design was one of three winning entires in a competition entitled SUSTAIN.ABILITY.DESIGN, sponsored by Vienna Design Week organisers Neigungsgruppe Design and Nespresso Austria.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

See also: cups made of recycled aluminium capsules by Dottings

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

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See all our stories about Mischer’Traxler »

Here's some more information from Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler:

"Nespresso Battery - there is a lot of energy in Nespresso Capsules"

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.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

The energy for the movement of the sweep hands is powered by 17 simple, self made batteries. Each battery-block consists of used old aluminium capsules, coffee grounds, strips of copper and salt water. 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.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler

The content of all batteries (old capsules and coffee grounds) is about ~ 680 -700 Nespresso Capsules - an average year consumption of one person. All 17 batteries interconnected and well moistened would be able to power a small radio. The installation wants to encourage customers to bring their used Nespresso Capsules back to the Boutiques and other collection facilities, in order to be recycled.

Nespresso Battery by Mischer'Traxler


As part of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2010, Nespresso Austria and the Neigungsgruppe Design are co-sponsoring their first invited contest. Accessories and coffee machines are just as much a part of the brand’s identity as the 16 Grands Crus, so Nespresso and the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK had to meet up. The designers Megumi Ito, Tina Lehner, Patrick Rampelotto, mischer’traxler, and dottings started off with free associations on urban living, lifestyle, and coffee. Aluminium accentuates the durability programme EcolaborationTM by Nespresso, based on work with 100-% recyclable materials and/or Nespresso capsules. Three projects selected by a panel of experts will be presented at the Nespresso Boutique during the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK.

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by Dottings

Posted on Thursday October 14th 2010 at 7:34 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Romana

    great. nice illustration of how much waste nespresso produces.

    nestle has no potential for self reflection.

    • Douglas H

      The Nespresso’s recycling program is pretty efficient, especially in countries where people have the culture of recycling instead of criticism.

  • att

    it seems a bit weird to me if you first design yourself a problem (coffee in aluminium capsules), and then you design something to solve this problem. that´s the wrong way in my opinion!

  • MMM

    These kind of ‘recylcling show’ is utterly stupid. All those energy/effort to power those little clocks?

    It looks like bombs John McClane would deal with.

  • Mook

    Agreed – this is a green solution to a unsustainable problem of coffee in capsules, not to mention all of the materials/energy used to make the capsules etc. A greener solution would be to use real coffee and use it for compost.

    Seeing as the competition was sponsored by Nespresso there’s really not much scope for engaging with real green issues, but just a greenwashing.

  • I can guess that Mischer'Traxler see the irony is using these Nestle waste products in a project sponsored by Nestle. However, the purported aim of promoting the recycling of these empty capsules is a thin veil, and Nestle must know that the type of consumer who buys this coffee system is the type of person least concerned with environmental issues.

    Its technically beautiful, and visually interesting. It could be better by being subversive, but doesn't go far enough.

  • jonathan

    what is the function of the "coffe grounds"?

  • That is amazing, gonna have to give it a try at some point!

  • tdt

    aluminium capsule is 100% recycle. why don't you recycle it and use it again?
    a lot better than trying to do this battery.