In 1993 the best performing turbines in Europe were produced by Ecotècnia, Spain's second largest manufacturer, and the second best was the Dansih Vestas' V27 model. The 50 best performing turbines are all to be found on Spanish soil at Tarifa in southern Spain and on the Canary Islands. Performance was calculated on the basis of the power produced and the area swept by the blades (kWh/m2). Ecotècnia's lead has surprised the industry which had not expected to see Danish manufacturers displaced from the top ratings they obtained in 1992.

Ecotècnia, Spain's second largest manufacturer of wind turbines, has beaten its competitors hands down at home and abroad as the manufacturer of the best performing turbines in Europe, according to the latest Eurowin survey for 1993.

The report, which gauges the performance of 7480 turbines across Europe, listed 38 Ecotècnia 20/150 machines among the top 50, while four turbines of the same model ranked first, second, third and fourth. A total of 15 Ecotècnia turbines were among the best performing 20. All told, the 38 turbines listed represent 70% of the company's entire production. "This proves three things," says an ecstatic Antonio Martinez, the president of Ecotècnia. "Our technology is good, the sites are adequate and maintenance is appropriate."

Second best in the listing was the Vestas' V27 model which was awarded 5th and 6th places in the ratings with a total of five machines in the top 20 and 11 -- including a V25 -- in the top 50. Completing the top 50, a single Tacke TW 536 from Germany took 44th place.

All the top 50 turbines listed are in Spain, at Tarifa at Spain's southernmost tip and on the Canary Islands, with the exception of a V25 and V27 in Denmark and a V27 and the Tacke TW536 in Germany.

The Eurowin data bank, financed by the European Union's Directorate for Science Research and Technology, DG XII, calculates the performance of the turbines on the basis of the power produced and the area swept by the blades (kWh/m2), an accepted formula used to gauge turbines on an equal basis irrespective of their size.

The 93 results, released at the recent European Wind Energy Association conference in Greece, have come as a shock to the industry which saw Danish manufacturers and developers displaced from the top ratings they obtained in the 1992 survey.

Ecotècnia, which has 8 MW of power installed in Spain and an another 200 MW in the works, developed its 20/150 machine in 1989 as part of a research project financed by Ecotècnia and the state-run Institute for the Diversification and Reduction of Energy (IDAE). Martinez says the secret of the turbine's success is to be found in the all-round effort invested in it. "We lack the resources to fund research for more then one turbine at a time and concentrated all our efforts in this model. That policy would seem to have paid off."

With IDAE support, Ecotècnia is currently working on a 500 kW model which is to be launched sometime next year. The philosophy behind this model, according to Martinez, is greater output for less cost and reduced environmental and visual impact.