In this paper, a cross flow plate type heat exchanger, operating with unmixed fluids, was analysed with balanced cross flow. For this aim, a cross flow plate type heat exchanger was developed and manufactured in the laboratory. The heat exchanger was tested with an applicable experimental set up, and temperatures, velocity of the air and the pressure losses occurring in the system were measured so that the effectiveness of the heat exchanger has been determined. The minimum entropy generation number has been taken into consideration with respect to the second law of thermodynamics for the heat exchanger in this analysis. The minimum entropy generation number depends on parameters such as optimum flow path length, dimensionless mass velocity, dimensionless heat transfer area and dimensionless heat transfer volume. The variations between the entropy generation number and these parameters were analysed for the manufactured heat exchanger and introduced with their graphics. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.