This study is on the straight bladed vertical axis turbines (VATs), which can be utilized for both wind and marine current energy. VATs have the potential of lower installation and maintenance cost. However, complex unsteady fluid mechanics of these turbines imposes significant challenges to the simulation tools. Dynamic stall is one of the phenomena associated with the unsteady conditions, and it is in the focus of the study. The dynamic stall effects are very important for VATs, since they are usually passively controlled through the dynamic stall. A free vortex model is used to calculated unsteady attached flow, while the separated flow is handled by the dynamic stall model. This is compared to the model based solely on the Leishman–Beddoes algorithm. The results are assessed against the measured data on pitching airfoils. A comparison of force coefficients between the simulations and experiments is done at the conditions similar to the conditions of H-rotor type VATs.