In this study, two types of solar air collectors are constructed and examined experimentally. The types are called as zigzagged absorber surface type and flat absorber surface type called Model I and Model II respectively. Experiments are carried out between 10.00 and 17.00 h in August and September under the prevailing weather conditions of Karabuk (city of the Turkey) for 5 days. Then, thermal performances belongs to experimental systems are calculated by using data obtained from experiments. To estimate thermal performances of solar air collectors an artificial neural network (ANN) model is designed. The measured data and calculated performance values are used at the design of Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) based multi-layer perceptron (MLP) in Matlab nftool module. Calculated values of thermal performances are compared to predicted values. Statistical error analysis is used to evaluate results. Comparing and statistical results demonstrate effectiveness of the proposed ANN. Also reliability of ANN and meaningfulness of input variables are tested via applying stepwise regression method to the data used in designing ANN. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.