The implementation of wind energy conversion systems in the built environment renewed the interest and the research on Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT), which in this application present several advantages over Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT). The VAWT has an inherent unsteady aerodynamic behavior due to the variation of angle of attack with the angle of rotation, perceived velocity and consequentially Reynolds number. The phenomenon of dynamic stall is then an intrinsic effect of the operation of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine at low tip speed ratios, having a significant impact in both loads and power. The complexity of the unsteady aerodynamics of the VAWT makes it extremely attractive to be analyzed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models, where an approximation of the continuity and momentum equations of the Navier-Stokes equations set is solved. The complexity of the problem and the need for new design approaches for VAWT for the built environment has driven the authors of this work to focus the research of CFD modeling of VAWT on: •comparing the results between commonly used turbulence models: URANS (Spalart-Allmaras and ¿-e) and large eddy models (Large Eddy Simulation and Detached Eddy Simulation) •verifying the sensitivity of the model to its grid refinement (space and time), •evaluating the suitability of using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) experimental data for model validation. The 2D model created represents the middle section of a single bladed VAWT with infinite aspect ratio. The model simulates the experimental work of flow field measurement using Particle Image Velocimetry by Simão Ferreira et al for a single bladed VAWT. The results show the suitability of the PIV data for the validation of the model, the need for accurate simulation of the large eddies and the sensitivity of the model to grid refinement. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.