Results from experiments on a tap transformer based grid connection system for a variable speed vertical axis wind turbine are presented. The tap transformer based system topology consists of a passive diode rectifier, DC-link, IGBT inverter, LCL-filter, and tap transformer. Full range variable speed operation is enabled by using the different step-up ratios of a tap transformer. Simulations using MATLAB/Simulink have been performed in order to study the behavior of the system. A full experimental set up of the system has been used in the laboratory study, where a clone of the on-site generator was driven by an induction motor and the system was connected to a resistive load to better evaluate the performance. Furthermore, the system is run and evaluated for realistic wind speeds and variable speed operation. For a more complete picture of the system performance, a case study using real site Weibull parameters is done, comparing different tap selection options. The results show high system efficiency at nominal power and an increase in overall power output for full tap operation in comparison with the base case, a standard transformer. In addition, the loss distribution at different wind speeds is shown, which highlights the dominant losses at low and high wind speeds. Finally, means for further increasing the overall system efficiency are proposed.