The Solar-Institute Jülich (SIJ) has initiated the construction of the first and only German solar tower power plant and is now involved in the accompanying research. The power plant for experimental and demonstration purposes in the town of Jülich started supplying electric energy in the beginning of 2008. The central receiver plant features as central innovation an open volumetric receiver, consisting of porous ceramic elements that simultaneously absorb the concentrated sunlight and transfer the heat to ambient air passing through the pores so that an average temperature of 680°C is reached. The subsequent steam cycle generates up to 1.5 MWe. A main field of research at the SIJ is the optimization of the absorber structures. To analyze the capability of new absorber specimens a special test facility was developed and set up in the laboratory. A high-performance near-infrared radiator offers for single test samples a variable and repeatable beam with a power of up to 320 kW/m² peak. The temperatures achieved on the absorber surface can reach more than 1000°C. To suck ambient air through the open absorber - like on the tower - it is mounted on a special blower system. An overview about the test facility and some recent results will be presented.