Comparison of dynamic stall on an airfoil undergoing sinusoidal and VAWT-shaped pitch motions

C. E. Brunner, J. Kiefer, M. Hultmark

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aerodynamics of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are inherently unsteady because the blades experience large angle of attack variations throughout a full turbine revolution. At low tip speed ratios, this can lead to a phenomenon known as dynamic stall. To better characterise the unsteady aerodynamics and represent them in models and simulations, data from studies of individual static or pitching airfoils are often applied to VAWT blades. However, these studies often involve sinusoidally pitching airfoils, whereas the pitching motions experienced by VAWTs are more complex. Here, the pressures and forces on an airfoil undergoing VAWT-shaped pitch motions corresponding to various tip speed ratios are compared to those of a sinusoidally pitching airfoil in order to assess whether a sinusoidal motion represents a reasonable approximation of the motions of a VAWT blade. While the lift development induced by the sinusoidal motion yields good agreement with that induced by the VAWT-shaped motion at the higher tip speed ratios, notable discrepancies exist at the lower tip speed ratios, where the VAWT motion itself deviates more from the sinusoid. Comparison with sinusoidal motions at reduced frequencies corresponding to the upstroke or downstroke of the VAWT-shaped motion yield better agreement in terms of the angle of stall onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032006
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2 2022
Event2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: Jun 1 2022Jun 3 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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