The device performance of recycling double-pass solar air heaters with W-ribs by machining on both sides of the absorber plate is investigated experimentally and theoretically. It is emphasized that in comparing various design configurations, they should be compared for the increase of power consumption suffered by the air passing through the collector under the same air mass flow rate and working dimensions. Compared to those of the single-pass and flat-plate double-pass device, both effects of the external recycle and the artificial W-ribs by machining enhance the collector thermal efficiency in this study. This study proposes an optimal design of the recycling W-ribs double-pass device that is expected to consider the compensation between collector thermal efficiency improvement WIdue to the external recycle and the increase of power consumption WPI, owing to pumping the air circulation in the two divided subchannels. The evaluation of a higher ratio ofWI to WPI, leads to economic benefits. It has been observed that a relative higher ratio of collector thermal efficiency improvement to the increase of power consumption occurs at recycle ratio R = 0.5. The results indicated the turbulent intensity increment with the artificial W-ribs by machining on both sides of the absorber plate could compensate for the increase of power consumption with the consideration of economic feasibility. The operation of a recycling W-ribs solar air heater with two covers in a double-pass mode offers an inexpensive method of improving the collector thermal efficiency by about 76.65%. The advantage of the present device is evident and provides a feasible design to improve the solar air heater of which the promotion in turbulence effectively raises the convective heat-transfer coefficient. The collector thermal efficiency enhancement of the double-pass operation is much higher than that in the smooth plate under different recycle ratios and mass flow rates.