Obtaining electrical energy from water streams with velocities below one meter per second using hydrokinetic turbines presents an important challenge as it is significantly lower than the range of operations (higher than two meters per second) offered by units currently commercialized. This research goes one step further than the state-of-the-art studies regarding the degree to which energy extraction is influenced by the water flow blockage caused by turbines in water flows; presenting that blockage as a key factor in the procurement of electrical energy using hydrokinetic micro turbines from low-velocity flowing water. Primarily, it describes the design and characterization of a small vertical-axis cross-flow hydrokinetic turbine whose dimensions maximize the blockage of the water circulating in a channel at very low velocity. For the turbine characterization, a model has been tested experimentally in a water tunnel with different flow rates and complemented by simulations under the same conditions using an adjusted computational fluid dynamics model. The experimental tests contemplate the measuring of the turbine’s electrical power, hydraulic coefficient and rotational speeds. The simulations of the numerical model facilitate the procurement of the corresponding water pressure and velocity fields. Further analysis has allowed for a closer examination of the different type of forces exerted on the faces of the blades as well as their position. Upon even closer inspection there appear to be a variety of possible scenarios contingent on the turbine load.