Abstract There are various types of solar water heater system available in the commercial market to fulfill different customers’ demand, such as flat plate collector, concentrating collector, evacuated tube collector and integrated collector storage. A cost effective cum easy fabricated V-trough solar water heater system using forced circulation system is proposed. Integrating the solar absorber with the easily fabricated V-trough reflector can improve the performance of solar water heater system. In this paper, optical analysis, experimental study and cost analysis of the stationary V-trough solar water heater system are presented in details. The experimental result has shown very promising results in both optical efficiency of V-trough reflector and the overall thermal performance of the solar water heater.