Cooling is indispensable for maintaining the desired performance and reliability over a very huge variety of products like electronic devices, computer, automobiles, high power laser system etc. Apart from the heat load amplification and heat fluxes caused by many industrial products, cooling is one of the major technical challenges encountered by the industries like manufacturing sectors, transportation, microelectronics, etc. Normally water, ethylene glycol and oil are being used as the fluid to carry away the heat in these devices. The development of nanofluid generally shows a better heat transfer characteristics than the water. This research work summarizes the experimental study of the forced convective heat transfer and flow characteristics of a nanofluid consisting of water and 1% Al2O3(volume concentration) nanoparticle flowing in a parallel flow, counter flow and shell and tube heat exchanger under laminar flow conditions. The Al2O3 nanoparticles of about 50 nm diameter are used in this work. Three different mass flow rates have been selected and the experiments have been conducted and their results are reported. This result portrays that the overall heat transfer coefficient and dimensionless Nusselt number of nanofluid is slightly higher than that of the base liquid at same mass flow rate at same inlet temperature. From the experimental result it is clear that the overall heat transfer coefficient of the nanofluid increases with an increase in the mass flow rate. It shows that whenever mass flow rate increases, the overall heat transfer coefficient along with Nusselt number eventually increases irrespective of flow direction. It was also found that during the increase in mass flow rate LMTD value ultimately decreases irrespective of flow direction. However, shell and tube heat exchanger provides better heat transfer characteristics than parallel and counter flow heat exchanger due to multi pass flow of nanofluid. The overall heat transfer coefficient, Nusselt number and logarithmic mean temperature difference of the water and Al2O3/water nanofluid are also studied and the results are plotted graphically.