Plate heat exchangers (PHE) are characterized by high heat transfer efficiency and compactness. An exploitation problem of the PHE is related to flow maldistribution, which can make part of the PHE idle, resulting in overheating and damage. Making geometrical modifications to the PHE can help reduce flow maldistribution. Modifications should be kept to a minimum, so as not to complicate the production process. There is a large number of possible geometrical modifications, which simply considers additional obstacles or stream dividers. To test all of them would be impractical and would also take a prohibitively long amount of time to obtain experimental measurements. A typical PHE is characterized by a complex system of channels. Making numerical calculations of its 3D model can be prohibitively time and resource-consuming. The present work introduces a physically consistent methodology of the transformation of a real 3D geometry to its 2D representation. Its main novelty is to assure the same pressure drop balance remains between the 3D and 2D geometries. This is achieved by a preservation of the same cumulative pressure losses in both geometries. The proposed innovative approach levels the pressure balance difference by adding properly designed local geometrical modifications. The developed methodology allowed a wide range of parameter space and various geometrical modifications to be investigated, and revealed geometrical optimizations leading to the improved performance of the PHE. To minimize the influence of other factors, an incompressible and single-phase flow was studied.