Marine and hydrokinetics (MHK) represent an emerging industry with hundreds of potentially viable technologies, such as potential extractable energy from plain area rivers where the water level differences are very small and the traditional water turbine pump (WTP) cannot be used. A suitable WTP, composed of a tubular turbine directly driving a centrifugal pump, was designed and developed based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and model tests. Two general design schemes of such river-current (RC)-driven WTP are presented here, obtaining the desired operating parameters of discharge and pump head. A CFD analysis of Scheme B, which employs a radial outlet, allowing additional degrees of freedom for the dimensions of the centrifugal pump, was carried out and verified experimentally by model tests. The minimum deviation of pump head is within ±5%, and the trend of other working conditions is consistent, so the results of the numerical simulation and model tests show good agreement, demonstrating the feasibility of the CFD method for practical applications. Then, using the CFD method, the optimum rotational speed for the turbine was determined, and the turbine draft tube was improved further. With a turbine runner diameter of 0.5 m, the results show best performance at n
= 350 r/min. The straight conical draft tube was changed to an elbow draft tube with multiple exits. Additionally, four different cross-sectional shapes were designed for the pump volute, and their effects on the performance of the WTP were analyzed. Finally, the round shape was selected, because of its best performance. The turbine unit has the highest efficiency of 81.2%, at an inlet velocity v
= 2.4 m/s, while the pump exhibits the best efficiency of 90.2% at the design discharge and head of 30 l/s and 4.45 m respectively. Overall, the RC-driven WTP makes good use of the kinetic energy of the river current as a power source, solving the inapplicability of traditional WTP in plain areas.
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