Ultra-thin-channel solar water collector efficiency (UCSWC) was investigated theoretically and experimentally. An ultra-thin-channel solar water collector was constructed using several flat plates with an ultra-thin fluid channel formed using an adjustable flexible silicon frame inserted between the absorber plate and bottom plate. The advantages of the ultra-thin-channel solar water collector are low absorber plate temperature and low total water mass flow rate, resulting in considerable collector efficiency improvement with high outlet fluid temperature and low pump power requirement. A simple and general modeling method was developed to predict the collector efficiencies and mean temperatures of the glass cover, absorber plate and fluid. Good agreement was achieved between the calculated and experimental values. The superior collector efficiencies of the UCSWC are obtained as 82.2% and 75.5% for the inlet temperatures 30°C and 70°C, respectively, operating at a total fluid mass flow 8.3 × 10−3 kg/s and solar radiation incident of 1100 W/m2.