Through novel experimental and computational methods, this paper details a study into the performance aerodynamics of a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). A novel experimental method is first developed and validated before the results are compared to those of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study. The computational study is further validated by comparing the flow field to PIV data. The CFD simulations are then analyzed to explain the aerodynamics in further detail, including a discussion of the effect of the streamwise induction on the local angle of attack on the blade. The University of Sheffield’s three-bladed NACA0022 small-scale VAWT experimental rig is mounted within the University’s Low-Speed Wind Tunnel. Tests at tip speed ratios up to 5 were carried out, where the blade Reynolds number (based on rotational speed) ranged from 37,500 to 75,000. The same test conditions are simulated using unsteady computational fluid dynamics.

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