This paper addresses the analysis and performance of several model reference adaptive system (MRAS) observers for sensorless vector control of doubly-fed induction machines. Small signal models allow the formal analysis of the observers for a given dynamic. The performance of each MRAS observer is analyzed, considering grid-connected and stand-alone operation. The MRAS observers are implemented in a 3.5 kW experimental prototype composed of a doubly-fed induction generator and a wind turbine emulator. Experimental results validate the predictions of the small signal models and demonstrate the performance of the sensorless methods during both steady state and variable speed wind energy generation.