Dynamic stall in vertical axis wind turbines: Comparing experiments and computations

A. J. Buchner, M. W. Lohry, Luigi Martinelli, J. Soria, Alexander Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Dynamic stall is often found in unsteady aerodynamic flows where the angle of attack can vary over a large range. It is of particular interest in the context of vertical axis wind turbines, where dynamic stall is the principal impediment to achieving improved aerodynamic efficiency. Here, we report computations using the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) equations with the Menter-SST turbulence model on a two-dimensional domain, over a range of tip speed ratios typical of the operation of vertical axis wind turbines. Comparisons are made against high resolution experimental data from particle image velocimetry (PIV), with special attention to the ability of the turbulence model to emulate the turbulence properties of the flow. It is shown that the computations approximate the experimental results well in most respects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Dynamic stall
  • PIV
  • Turbulence modelling
  • Vertical axis wind turbine


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