Skip to content

Carlos Legua Gracia

Carlos-alimakInterview with Carlos Legua Gracia

Hello Carlos, tell us a little about yourself?

Carlos : I am a mechanical engineer. My experience is mainly from 12 years working in Siemens, with positions related to product design and production engineering, and from 15 years in Avanti, working in engineering and product management departments.

As the global product manager and inventor behind several of the Avanti patents what do you consider to be the skills you need in order to become a good inventor?

Carlos: I think innovation requires two main skills. One is an analytical mindset, to identify and understand problems and needs, and the other is creativity, to find non-obvious and efficient solutions. Each skill depends on many factors and abilities. The good idea is just part of the problem-solving process. The other parts are convincing the customer and design the concept brilliantly.

Do you see a common trend in the innovations for the wind industry in the future and if so, what kind of trends do you believe will be dominant?

Carlos: Of course, all the players in the wind sector are continuously innovating to keep the industry delivering fast with new wind turbines more and more efficient and powerful. The potential in offshore is especially relevant, and the innovation here is showing many new solutions of foundations and floating structures. Digitalization is the main driver enabling innovation, by decreasing design and industrialization costs, and optimizing operation and maintenance. This constant innovation process is already in place in the wind sector, with China already closing technological gap with western players, and running at extremely fast speed. But I think the next step of innovation for the wind sector could be integrating wind energy generation with other energy systems, such as Power to-X (green hydrogen, ammonia) and storage. This will make wind energy dramatically more efficient and reliable, from the current situation of being the cheapest and cleanest source of energy in most regions.

What is the innovation you have made so far that you are most proud of?

Carlos: One patent that I find very interesting is about a service trolley that can access the inside of wind towers without platforms. The service lift brings the trolley to the right height, and then the trolley separates from the lift and allows a person or a robot to work on it. The robot can do some regular tasks and inspections by itself, using tools, while the turbine keeps generating power. This is a new idea that we are trying to get support from OEMs for, because we need to work closely with tower designers and service people to develop it. Other patents that we already use in our lift system are devices that guide cables and wire ropes along the wind towers, even when the path has complex shapes and large movement due to tower dynamics.

What do you like most in your job?

Carlos: My role as Product Manager is to collect feedback from customers and various internal stakeholders, and to create alignment to ensure we are all focused on the right thing at any time, to meet customer needs. I am a very organized person, and I think that I can contribute a lot to the whole process with technical support to customers and sales, and communication and coordination with all the areas in Avanti. From my position I challenge my colleagues to go one step further in every opportunity to find more creative, effective and simple solutions to each problem.

What would you recommend to less experienced or young people that would like to follow your path and try a career in innovation or product development?

Carlos: I would suggest being curious. You need to ask ‘why’ several times to find the root cause of any problem, and to solve it properly, and look at the problem from different angles; different stakeholders have different opinions and interests, and they all matter. I also suggest simplicity; no matter how complex and long the process is, the problem and the solution need to be simple. Then others can understand them easily, and you can create agreement and alignment, and implement them with low risk. Finally, I would suggest taking your time; good ideas may come while working, but other times they come unexpectedly. You may need multiple tries until you get a great problem definition and a great solution.