This paper deals with the inverse analysis of a double-glazed flat-plate solar collector using the artificial bee colony (ABC) optimization algorithm. In domestic water heating, both low and high heat output from the solar collector is undesirable, so the solar collector is required to supply the hot water at a particular temperature only, which in turn requires a given distribution of heat loss factor. With this criterion, the present analysis is aimed at predicting feasible dimensions and configurations of a solar collector satisfying a prescribed distribution of heat loss factor using ABC algorithm. It is observed that many feasible alternatives of unknowns exist which satisfy a prescribed requirement, and using the ABC algorithm, the size of the solar collector can be minimised by 6-32% with reference to the existing records. The effects of changing ambient conditions are also studied. Furthermore, a comparative study of the ABC algorithm against other heuristic algorithms reveals its suitability and efficacy for the present estimation problem.