This paper presents a summary of the work done by the authors regarding the design, construction and test of vertical axis hydro turbines to exploit tidal currents. Double Multiple Streamtube (DMS) model and Vortex model have been used to predict turbines performances either with fixed blades or with self-acting variable pitch blades. Within the DMS model, VAWT and VAWT_dyn codes have been developed to analyze steady and dynamic performances; within Vortex model, VAT-VOR3D code has been developed. Theoretical analysis and numerical predicted performances have been compared and validated with experimental test results on both model and real scale turbines. A comparison between DMS and Vortex model results has been presented. Moreover, the recent activities in terms of numerical investigations on the flow curvature effects are presented.

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